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Executive Summary for June 29th

We review the latest issues, including a poll that says Australians don’t support their government’s asylum policy, reports of Egypt becoming a popular departure country for E.U.-bound migrants, and the release of U.N. emergency funds for displaced Nigerians.

Published on June 29, 2016 Read time Approx. 2 minutes

‘Majority of Australians Oppose Government’s Refugee Policies’

A majority of Australians think that refugees who arrive by boat should be granted asylum and resettled in the country, reveals a new poll released this week.

According to The Australia Institute, Only 27% said they should be sent to Manus and Nauru, and not come to Australia under any circumstances. Thirty-five percent said they should be processed at these offshore camps, but those found to be genuine refugees should be settled in Australia. Twenty-eight percent said processing should happen in Australia.

The poll also found that 66% of respondents believe doctors working in Australia’s offshore detention centers should be legally allowed to “speak publicly about conditions in the camps and report and incidences of abuse to the police.”

A majority of respondents also support New Zealand’s proposal to accept 150 refugees each year from Australia’s detention regime on Manus Island and Nauru.

Ben Oquist, executive director of The Australia Institute, told the Guardian that the results demonstrate a “real disconnect” between Australia’s “specific asylum seeker policy measures and public expectations.”

More E.U.-Bound Migrants Are Turning to Egypt as Departure Country

More migrants destined for Europe are departing from Egypt to cross the Mediterranean, the head of the E.U.’s border agency Frontex told reporters on Tuesday.

“Egypt is starting to become a departure country,” said Frontex chief Fabrice Leggeri in an interview, according to Agence France-Presse.

“The number of boat crossings from Egypt to Italy has reached 1,000 [so far] this year,” he said.

“The route is gaining popularity. The crossing is extremely dangerous, the journey often takes more than 10 days,” Leggeri warned, adding that there were “few ships on this route that could save migrants from sinking boats.”

Libya is another preferred North African departure point for migrants bound for Europe. “The central Mediterranean route has never been as popular,” added Leggeri.

U.N. Releases $13 Million from Emergency Fund for IDPs in Nigeria

United Nations humanitarian chief Stephen O’Brien allocated $13 million to “provide life-saving assistance” to 250,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in recently accessible areas in northeastern Nigeria, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a press release.

The money was released from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) – a U.N. “pooled fund that supports rapid humanitarian response,” the statement said.

“People have experienced unspeakable suffering due to the violence perpetrated by Boko Haram. We now have better access finally, and a chance to help them,” said O’Brien.

“The international community must take advantage of this opening to reach people with essential services and build on the CERF allocation to scale up the response,” he added.

The CERF fund will support the provision of food, cash for food purchase, special child nutritional supplements, protection and health services to the most vulnerable people in the newly accessible areas, the statement said.

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