For several years here at the End of History, we have tracked the incredible refugee crisis that spread across the globe since 2008. This is the largest refugee crisis the world has experienced since the end of World War II. Millions of displaced people from Afghanistan to Syria to Yemen and East Africa reshaped geopolitics for the globe.
As refugee camps overflowed with new populations of people and families fleeing for their lives, Europe and the US set up new restrictions to keep these refugees at bay. Meanwhile, countries like Lebanon and Turkey took in vast numbers of refugees and saw their domestic political situations unravel. The refugee and displaced person issue was already a major issue and crisis before 2020 began…then came the COVID-19 Pandemic.
For many of our listeners out there today the highest priority for their own government is battling the pandemic on the home front. But even if we are totally successful in pushing back the COVID-19 pandemic in the US and Europe, if the spread of the virus is active in one part of the world it can bounce back and reclaim territory in our part of the world. So the fight against the pandemic truly must be a global struggle.
Today the most vulnerable populations to the pandemic are not in New York or Italy. They are in Gaza, Yemen, Syria, Myanmar, and East Africa. They are in the locations where millions of refugees may become the next outbreak hot spot for the pandemic. And if the pandemic breaks out there, it can return here. The refugee crisis and its convergence with the pandemic represent the perfect storm of revolving crises that feed off of one another.
Our special guest on today’s podcast episode is Dr. Zaher Sahloul. His organization MedGlobal is active in many of the most dangerous and forgotten refugee camps around the world. Dr. Sahloul speaks with us about the threat posed to the refugee populations by the pandemic and where the current status of the situation stands.