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GAZA: Palestinians walk and drive past buildings destroyed during Zionist bombardment, in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on July 3, 2024.- AFP
GAZA: Palestinians walk and drive past buildings destroyed during Zionist bombardment, in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on July 3, 2024.- AFP

Arab League seeks viable solution to forced migration, refugees crisis

Gaza war unleashes a maelstrom of human misery

CAIRO: Finding viable solutions to the issue of forced migration and the refugee crisis is tremendously important and will lead to progress in the humanitarian and development domains, said Arab League Secretary General Ahmad Abul-Gheit on Wednesday. This came in a speech from Abul-Gheit at the second regional conference reviewing the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration in the Context of the Arab Region.

A number of prominent officials attended the event, including the IOM’s Director General, Amy Pope. Abul-Gheit said that the migration from and into the Arab region was an integral part of the global migration movement, and it had some serious social and economic impacts. He noted that the region hosts around 41.4 million immigrants and refugees and is also the launch pad for the migration of 32.8 million migrants and refugees from the region.

He indicated that the various challenges in the region increased problems on several levels, with many countries carrying the burden of providing for migrants and refugees, which put an extra load on their economies and infrastructure. Abul-Gheit added that climate change was another factor leading to forced migration, stressing that natural disasters and increased temperatures played a very real role in forcing people to leave their homes and lands.

Arab countries were aware of the impact of climate change on the movement of people; therefore, several initiatives and plans, in accordance with UN regulations, were devised to counter such a problem, he stressed. He went on to say that wars play a grim factor in forcing people to move, noting that the Arab region had witnessed several of them. On the issue of Palestine and relating it to forced immigration, the top Arab League official asserted the right of the Palestinian people, whether in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, or elsewhere, to return to their land and homes.

He deemed what Zionist occupation was doing to Palestinians as war crimes, especially the ones in the Gaza Strip, calling for an immediate ceasefire in the war-torn region at once. The two-day conference will host a number of discussions focusing on organized migration and the forced movement of people from their lands due to several factors. The human rights of migrants and refugees would also be discussed. Several Arab, regional, and international organizations shared the organizing duties of the event. Kuwait’s Permanent Representative at the Arab League, Abdulaziz Al-Ajmi, is partaking in the conference.

Maelstroms of human misery

With their homes shattered and lives upended by war, civilians in Gaza are clinging to their dignity under the most inhumane conditions, UN Senior Humanitarian and Reconstruction Coordinator Sigrid Kaag said. “The war has not merely created a humanitarian crisis; it has unleashed a maelstrom of human misery,” she said in a briefing to the UN Security Council.

The UN coordinator pointed out that public services have collapsed and over 1.9 million people have now been displaced, she told ambassadors at the Security Council, underscoring the critical need for a full, immediate, and complete ceasefire, the release of all hostages, and unhindered aid across the enclave. Kaag emphasized that while humanitarian assistance will be required for years to come, planning and preparing for early recovery and reconstruction are equally important.

She urged the UN Security Council members to consider immediate actions that complement and support the humanitarian response. “We cannot ask Palestinian civilians to put their future on hold while they cling to their human dignity under inhumane conditions,” she said. The Senior Coordinator also highlighted that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has a critical role in Gaza, integral to the enclave’s recovery and reconstruction, and urged the international community to ensure the PA’s financial stability and support its reform, governance, and other capacities necessary to reassume its responsibilities. — KUNA

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