"When they don’t think I’m watching, they do the funniest things. They are always dancing together. I found them in the kitchen yesterday, pretending to cook."
"What’s your greatest worry as a parent?"
"Their health. They’re always getting sick from the cold and the dust. Sometimes the dust gets so bad, they lose their voices."
For the first time since the World War II era, the number of people forced to flee their homes worldwide has surged past 50 million, the United Nations refugee agency said on World Refugee Day. (June 20, 2014)
At the end of last year (2013), 51.2 million people had been forced from their homes worldwide. Half the world’s refugees are children, many travelling alone or in groups in a desperate quest for sanctuary, and often falling into the clutches of people traffickers.
Syria’s civil war alone has forced 9 million people to flee their homes, with nearly 3 million escaping abroad while more than 6.5 million have been displaced within Syria.
Last year, there were 16.7 million refugees worldwide; including 11.7 million cared for by U.N. agencies. More than half of the refugees under UNHCR’s care — 6.3 million — had been in exile for more than five years.
By country, the biggest populations of refugees were Afghans, Syrians and Somalis, the report said.
Photo: A woman leans against a tree in the world’s biggest refugee complex on August 23, 2009 in Dadaab, Kenya. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
On Assignment in Kenya with @balazsgardi
To see more photos and videos from photojournalist Balazs Gardi’s work in Kenya and elsewhere, follow @balazsgardi on Instagram.
Photojournalist Balazs Gardi (@balazsgardi) has spent the past decade documenting the effects of the unfolding global water crisis. Balazs’s work has taken him to more than 20 countries across Africa and the Middle East. Most recently, he finds himself in Kenya: “With the changing climate, the people of Kenya’s already arid Turkana region suffer greatly from the consequences of prolonged droughts,” he explains.
It was Balazs’s grandmother that sparked his interest in photography. “She had it in her head that photography was a good path for a young man with no patience for authority or office work,” he says. “She was right, and I discovered that photography was a way to learn about people, their situations and problems, and about the world.”
As he learns and shares the stories of people affected by the water crisis, Balazs says Instagram “has become a vital tool to share work that matters to me and allows me to put the image in context and deliver it directly to my audience.”
Balazs hopes his photos and videos will stir people to action. “By passing on my experiences, I’d like not only to inform but also to spark meaningful public dialog. As time goes on I hope my audience takes action that either directly helps people in great need or changes their own behavior for the better.”
“Turkana” by Jehad Nga
A photographer of Libyan descent born in the United States and raised between Tripoli, Libya and London, England, Jehad Nga's lens has explored many stories and identities all over the African continent. From photographing a beauty contest in Botswana for HIV affected to women, night commuters in Ugandan, and the Liberian civil war, to illegal migration in to South Africa and documenting his own country, Libya, Nga's body of work is unique in that it contains projects that cover all regions of the African continent.
In this 2010 series titled ‘Turkana’, Nga’s photographs highlight the people of the Turkana region of Kenya - perhaps the area worst hit by drought in the country. According to Nga, the Turkana are ‘dwindling in numbers’ due to drought and subsequent neglect from them Kenyan government. Devastatingly, as a result of food and water shortages and with little to no aid reaching them, for some of the people photographed by Nga, these are the very last images of them. Shortly after photographing them, several of the individuals photographed passed away as a result of starvation caused by drought.
In the drought-stricken corner of northwestern Kenya, the native Turkana community is involved in deadly conflict with rivals from across the border in neighbouring Ethiopia, as the poor populations compete for dwindling food.
Fighting between the communities has a long history, but the conflict has become ever more fatal as automatic weapons from other regional conflicts seep into the area. According to locals, around a dozen Turkana have been killed in clashes since July. — Read More
Photos by Siegfried Modola/Reuters
World’s Largest Refugee Camps
The fighting in Syria has forced more than 2 million people out of the country and into refugee camps. Here are the 10 most populous U.N. refugee settlements in the world. Numbers based on the latest data available from UNHRC as of Sept. 2, 2013. (via)
Above : A child stands in front of her home at a refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya, 2011. (Schalk van Zuydam/AP)
1. Dadaab, Kenya
A complex of five camps hosts 402,361 people, mostly from neighbouring Somalia. Here, boys fetch water from a puddle at the camp in 2011. (Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images)
2. Dollo Ado, Ethiopia
A complex of five camps hosts 198,462 people, mostly Somalis fleeing drought and famine in their home country. (Luc van Kemenade/AP)
3. Kakuma, Kenya
A total 124,814 Somali and Sudanese refugees live in Kenya’s Kakuma refugee camp. Here, refugees from South Sudan gather at registration centre of refugee camp in Kakuma. (Reuters)
4. Al Zaatri, Jordan
Hosts about 122,723 Syrian refugees. Almost 5,000 citizens a day on average are flowing out of Syria. (Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)
5. Jabalia, Gaza Strip
Nearly 110,000 Palestinians live in the Gaza Strip refugee camp. Here, a Palestinian family sit outside their home in the Jabalia refugee camp in 2013. (Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images)
6. Mbera, Mauritania
A total 75,261 refugees, mostly fleeing the conflict in northern Mali, occupy the refugee camp in Mbera. Here, it is in 2012. (Joe Penney/Reuters)
7. Yida, South Sudan
A total 70,095 people mostly from Sudan live in the Yida camp, in the newly independent South Sudan. Here, a mother and daughter from South Kordofan, Sudan, at a feeding center for the acutely malnourished in the Yida refugee camp in 2012. (Pete Muller/AP)
8. Nakivale, Uganda
A total 68,996 refugees live in the Nakivale settlement. Here, a Rwandan refugee cleans beans at the camp in 2009. (Walter Astrada/AFP/Getty Images)
9. Nyarugusu, Tanzania
A total 68,197 people, mostly Burundians and Congolese, reside at the camp in Kasulu, northwest Tanzania. Here, children walk out of their classroom at the camp in 2010. (Frank Nyakairu/Reuters)
10. Tamil Nadu state, India
Some 66,700 Sri Lankan refugees live in more than a hundred camps on the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. About 34,000 more live outside the camps. Here, a girl at a camp outside Chennai, India. (Ami Vitale/Getty Images)