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Executive Summary for July 18th

We review the latest issues related to refugees, including claims that more migrants might be dying in the Sahara than in the Mediterranean, the deployment of forces at Serbia’s borders and reports that the six richest nations host less than 9 percent of refugees.

Published on July 18, 2016 Read time Approx. 3 minutes

‘More Migrants May Be Dying in the Sahara Desert than the Mediterranean’

Greater numbers of E.U.-bound African migrants might be dying crossing the Sahara desert than those who drown in the Mediterranean Sea, revealed a report published on Friday by a migration tracking organization.

“Migrants and refugees from the Horn of Africa arriving in Libya, Egypt or Europe consistently indicate that even more people might die while crossing the Sahara desert than while crossing the Mediterranean, but reliable data on migrant deaths on land routes have so far been unavailable,” the report said.

4mi, an affiliate of the Danish Refugee Council, based the report on witness testimony from more than 1,300 migrants between 2014 and 2016. The report found that 1,245 people perished on the move in Libya, Sudan and Egypt combined.

“The relatively small number of migrants interviewed … suggests the 1,245 figure is a conservative estimate of those who actually perished.”

The report added that most deaths are due to “preventable reasons” such as lack of access to medicine, food, water and shelter.

Serbia Tightens Border Security to Deter Crossings

Serbia will deploy its police and army along the borders with Bulgaria and Macedonia to curb the illegal flow of migrants, Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic said at a press conference on Saturday, according to Reuters.

“Serbia cannot be a parking ground for people from Afghanistan or Pakistan whom no one else in Europe wishes to accept,” said Vucic, as reported by the Associated Press. “Serbia must protect its national interests.”

Roughly 3,000 migrants are currently in Serbia and most “stand no chance” of being granted asylum in the European Union, he said.

Vucic stated that migrants and refugees who enter Serbia illegally without documents and do not apply for asylum would be deported within 30 days. He added that Serbia could accept between 6,000 and 7,000 asylum seekers, reported Al Jazeera.

This announcement follows harsh new border security measures taken by Hungary last week, including reports of police pushing migrants back across the border to Serbia.

Oxfam: Six Richest Countries Host Less Than 9 Percent of World’s Refugees

The six wealthiest countries in the world, which make up almost 60 percent of the global economy, host only 8.88 percent of the world’s refugees, while poorer countries take on most of the burden, Oxfam said in a press release on Monday.

The United States, China, Japan, Germany, France and the United Kingdom hosted 2.1 million refugees last year. Germany welcomed around a third (736,740) of the 2.1 million people, while the five other countries took in the remaining 1.4 million.

Oxfam added that more than 50 percent of the world’s refugees – roughly 12 million people – live in Jordan, Turkey, Palestine, Pakistan, Lebanon and South Africa. These developing countries account for less than 2 percent of the world’s economy.

Oxfam is asking richer countries to host more refugees and to do more to help the developing countries that have taken in the majority of the world’s refugees.

“This is one of the greatest challenges of our time, yet poorer countries, and poorer people, are left to shoulder the responsibility,” Mark Goldring, chief executive of Oxfam G.B., told the Guardian. “It is a complex crisis that requires a coordinated, global response, with the richest countries doing their fair share by welcoming more refugees and doing more to help and protect them wherever they are.”

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