By Simon J. Mone
Last week international community honoured World Population Day. What a way it was to notice how world population is increasing.
One thing that must be prioritised is global displacement of people. Over 60 million souls confined in displaced settlements as World Population Day was honoured.
Makeshift huts characterising congested settlements. This is because for many, conditions at homes are completely not tenable. Humanitarian solutions must be found.
If not, vulnerable people: women, girls, children, et al will continue to come up against threats caused by deprivation from basic services. The first step in solving this must begin with renewed global commitment to ending conflict. Regional organisation should thump their authority.
Slap leaders of conflict with punitive measures: deny them safe haven, give heavy travel bans. Negotiated settlement of conflicts doesn’t seem to yielding much craved for result across the globe.
So protection of people is being made extremely difficult. As a result, the World is now helplessly staring at huge battles against growing humanitarian emergencies.
Emergencies created by needless conflict and persecution. And this is threatening to spiral out of control. Aid agencies have had to dig deep into their pockets to provide basic amenities. Their ability to stay on top of vulnerability depends only on the amount of funding that they receive.
Yet handouts are not a sustainable means of offering solutions. As reports state, worldwide, one in every 122 persons is a refugee, an internally displaced person, or one seeking asylum.
The disturbing thing is, out of 60 million displaced people, half are children. Some of whom are child or women headed households, with the sole responsibility of many children under their care. And more troubling is that leaders of these conflicts continue to perpetrate impunity.
Recruit young people into their ranks. Cause violence on young girls. Abuse sexually, exploit, and forcefully marry them. And thus, their education is interfered with. Significant shortage of funding plus the absence of adequate global capacity to protect victims of conflict and people in need of compassion is to blame.
Displaced people are thus forced to try dangerous solutions, like jumping onto ill-equipped boats in order to reach Europe over the violent Mediterranean Sea.
So the world is now dealing with difficult emergencies. Protracted conflicts, made worse by greedy leaders, natural disasters, and the struggle of Boko Haram-type sadists, extremist groups that are claiming territory, resources and power. The theme of 2015 World Population Day was, ‘Vulnerable Populations in Emergencies.’
So special needs groups: women, adolescent girls and disabled that are caught up in emergencies require close attention and support. The number of people in urgent need of relief is increasing every year. It will continue straining resources. Therefore, due to their vulnerability, people will require services: food and non-food items, shelter, health care, education and protection.
So the capacity of governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to provide these requirements will be given a stern test. Aid workers often have to overcome attacks and arrests while providing compassion for children, sick, injured and elderly people.
Some aid workers have even died in the process of providing relief. So their zeal to support and safeguard well-being of women and girls, and address their specific needs is severely damaged. And given prevailing conditions, especially in Africa, displaced people require answers.
Leaders must be seen to be committed to creating conditions that eliminate displacements. And make communities love their country.
So that local people can live peacefully in their homes to foster household livelihood. Celebrating World Population Day when a population 60 million people cannot freely grow their livelihoods should make many leaders guilty.
The writer is a civil engineer
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World Population Day: Create conditions that eliminate population displacement