Refugee crisis due to civil war in Syria

The civil war in Syria has been going on for four years and the situation is becoming worse day by day. The war killed over 220,000 people so far, half of whom are civilians. To escape the war and in quest for a better life, Syrian people are fleeing to neighboring Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. Many of them nonetheless finally ended up in more distant countries of North Africa, the Caucasus, the Persian Gulf and Europe.

But Turkey is not a country for Syrian people to stay in for an extended term. It is not a place to settle for Syrians because they do not have the right to work there. The situation in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq are similar. So thousands of refugees those have better access of information and cash are attempting the dangerous trip across the Mediterranean Sea from Turkey to Greece in a bid to secure a safe future. Not all of them make it across alive. And those who do make it to Greece still face steep challenges.

The influx of refugees has blown out of proportion recently because there is now a known route. First few Syrians found the long trekked through the Balkans to the EU in summer of 2014. They conveyed the information to their friends who told to more friends. Eventually there were Facebook groups about it. Thousands and thousands started coming to Europe through this route. About 600,000 refugees have registered for asylum in Europe in 2015 so far. The number is double than that of 2014. The EU is facing the music now. But this vary crisis has become huge because of the slow response time of European countries. The EU countries have spent long time debating about a suitable resolution to the refugee movement.

The Arab nations of the Persian Gulf have some the world’s highest per capita incomes. Their leaders claim they practice the religion of peace and humanity and speak passionately about the dilemma of Syrians. But while millions of Syrians are fleeing elsewhere in the Middle East and many died while reaching Europe, these rich morally diluted Gulf nations including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain have agreed to resettle only a small number of refugees. Contrarily, countries with moderate economies like Jordan, Turkey and Iraq are accepting the refugees in large scale. Jordan, for example, has an annual per capita income of USD11,000 and has received 630,000 refugees. Turkey that has an annual per capita income of USD20,000 accepted 200,00000 refugees. Regretfully, Qatar with USD 143,000, Kuwait with USD71,000 and Saudi Arabia with USD52,000 annual per capita income rejected to accept any refugees.

How did it start? - The Arab Spring uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya inspired the otherwise dumb Syrians to take to the streets in March of 2011 in peaceful demonstration against the Assad regime. They protested the lack of political progress and slow economic growth. Assad regime reacted quite fiercely by torturing and shooting at the demonstrators. Eventually the situation escalated to a civil war. Syria is now divided into territories occupied by the Assad regime, the rebel guerrillas and a group of Islamic extremists. The war is still raging today. Divisions between secular and Islamist fighters, and between ethnic groups, continue to complicate the situation.

Facts and figures about the crisis:
The recent refugee crisis is very much global. Scale and severity of this crisis is unmatched since World War II. It will affect majority of the people across the world one way or the other.

There is not a single party / person / reason to blame. It occurred as consequences of several factors. But to pinpoint, it is Arab Spring that started this.

For many years, the EU kept refugees from Aram world out of sight and out of mind by simply paying Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi. Moammar Gadhafi’s government used to intercept and turn back migrants that were heading for Europe. Now, no more Gadhafi, no more intercepts.

At the moment Syria is ruled by four forces: Assad led government, rebels who want to oust Assad, ISIS who wants to rule the country and Kurdish forces.

Four million Syrians registered or are awaiting registration with the United Nations High Commission of Refugees.

The most dangerous form of travel by Syrian people is by boat across the Mediterranean Sea toward Italy and Greece.

Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, the Kurdistan region of Iraq started providing health care and education to the refugees.

Germany agreed to take 800,000 asylum seekers, France 20,000 and Britain another 20,000.

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