Factors Influencing the Movement of Syrian Refugees into Lebanon, by Justin Brown, Benjamin Diego, Marissa Ferrante and Laura Zehender,
In spring of 2011, a popular uprising in Syria against the government of Bashar al-Assad, as part of the wider Middle Eastern protest movement known as the Arab Spring, grew into a full-fledged civil war. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR), more than 125,000 people have been killed in the Syrian conflict thus far. As a result, about one in four Syrians have left their homes, with over two million refugees fleeing into neighboring countries and more than five million internally displaced within Syria. As of November 30, 2013, over 800,000 registered Syrian refugees were residing in Lebanon (Syria Regional Refugee, 2013). This crisis in Syria has demanded global attention; in order to better understand the experience of the Syrian refugees and to identify their needed resources, the UNHCR and other agencies have created many spatio-analytical representations of Syrian populations in other countries. This project aims to analyze the spatial correlation between Syrian migration data with the cause and effect data for those migrations. It hopes to lead to a better understanding of the situations of Syrian refugees affected by the crisis.
The project evaluates the impact of the civil war and its effects on Syrian refugee migrations using the following questions:
- From what sub-districts are the most statistically significant concentration of refugees leaving?
- What clusters of sub-districts have been most affected by the civil conflict?
- How are the numbers of refugees (total, women, and children) migrating to Lebanon from different Syrian sub-districts affected by different factors of civil conflict?
- How a does conflict severity and conflict count affect the number of Syrian refugees migrating to Lebanon?
Mapping Dengue Fever Risk in Refugee Camps, by Adrian Berg, Daniel Halford and Emily Williams
Dengue fever is the most important mosquito-borne viral disease in the world. Over 2.5 billion people – over 40% of the world's population – are now at risk from dengue fever (World Health Organization (WHO) 2013). Predominantly spread by the Aedes mosquito, the biogeography of the disease has closely followed the expansion of the global endemic range of the mosquito (Knowlton et al. 2009). Outbreaks require both a population susceptible to a particular dengue serotype as well as a large number of vectors (Aedes mosquitoes).
Using the range of the Aedes mosquito as a proxy for the range of Dengue fever, this project aims to:
- Spatially analyze the different environmental factors that affect the range of the Aedes mosquito to create a risk map for the region.
- Apply the level of risk to the Refugee camps depending on their geographic location.
Refugee Migration Patterns and Environmental Factors, by Christina Zhou, Zhiyun Jiang and Carly Wais
The Horn of Africa, comprised of Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sudan, currently faces both environmental change and significant refugee movement due to various factors. In this area, there are an estimated 7.3 million people of concern to the UNHCR (East and Horn of Africa, 2013). While conflicts and political instability seem to be the most obvious reasons for migration, environmental factors have also played major roles. In April, May, and August in 2013, flooding was the most significant factor responsible for migration in Somalia, displacing 6700, 2000, and 3600 individuals, respectively (Somalia Population Movement Trends). In 2011, famine hit, compounding upon the political situation and resulting in very high levels of migration. Disasters such as these often puts lives and property at risk, forcing migration to occur. In out project, we analyze refugee camps locates in Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia. Sudan is also included in analysis as a country of origin for refugees because it constitutes a large portion of the total refugees in the camps.
The project looks to ask:
- Which environmental factors influence refugee migration in the Horn of Africa?
- Do environmental factors affect conflict in the Horn of Africa?
Livelihood and Security of Urban Refugees in Delhi, India, by Evie Pless, Anne Siders, Lauren Steinbaum and Aiga Stokenberga
In early 2013, UNHCR and Joint Internally Displaced Persons Profiling Service (JIPS) partnered with the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University to conduct a study in Delhi to better understand the living conditions of urban refugees. They surveyed 1,063 households in the NCT of Delhi, including refugees from Afghanistan, Myanmar, and Somalia as well as Indian citizens (JIPS Delhi Report, 2013). The survey did not conduct a random sampling, but rather targeted areas with known refugee populations, identified using UNHCR refugee registration data.
Survey respondents were asked about their experiences in Delhi. Questions particularly focused on four categories, identified by JIPS: employment security, housing security, financial security, and physical safety (JIPS Delhi Report, 2013). Initial statistical analysis conducted by JIPS suggests that urban refugees in Delhi face greater challenges than their Indian neighbors due to discrimination, but that refugee experiences may also differ according to country of origin (JIPS Delhi Report, 2013).
Our goal was to add spatial analysis capabilities in order to better identify and understand geographic patterns related to refugee security. We first created a Livelihood Index (LI) score for each household, based on survey responses to questions in each of the four categories. This enabled spatial analysis of the distribution of high and low LI scores with respect to one another, ethnicity, and proximity to public services.
Land-use and Violence: An Analysis of Predictive Factors of Expulsion in Colombia, by Manni Cavalli-Sforza, Andrew Hines and Andrew Mather
Since 1958, Colombia has existed in a state of military conflict that has persisted until the present day. Started by the largely ethnic rebellion against the Spaniards of two quasi-communist organizations known as The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN), the fight has now developed into a multiple actor struggle between the Colombian military and several rebel and paramilitary groups. The fighting is particularly pronounced near the Ecuadorian, Venezuelan, and Panamanian borders (though fortunately generally not over them), specifically in the departments of Putumayo, Nariño, Antioquia, Choco, and Norte de Santander. Just as when it begun, the conflict continues to be mostly focused on controlling territory and natural resources, with actors generally vying for the geopolitical influence in a region necessary to establish this control. Terror tactics are often used to achieve this, with the aim of scaring villagers in surrounding regions into submission: either to make them laborers on their operations, or to gain the land rights to extract resources from a region by force. Several categories of land-use have been especially associated with this kind of behavior. In particular, drug- farming and mineral mining have been especially identified by NGOs, and government organizations as industries that are supportive of military and rebel organizations in particular parts of the country.
The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and its affiliates work to provide aid and policy-initiatives for Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs) the world over, though their efforts are often hindered by a lack of concrete data. In its work in Colombia, the UNHCR faces a growing IDP problem, confounded by the lack of understanding of trends in displacement, including the actors, movement, and vulnerability of individuals. This project aims to remove these analytical barriers by analyzing whether land-use categories related to violence can be used as predictive factors in displacement, based on municipality-level expulsion data from the year of 2010. At the end of our study, we have found that only two of our investigated land-use factors, were conceivably usable as predictors: at least with the data we were able to find on these factors. These two factors were the number of hectares of illegal cocaine plantations seized by the government and a risk index for violence calculated by researchers at Santo Thomas University and based on the activity of armed groups in a municipality.
Solar Cooking Potential in Horn of Africa Refugee Camps, by Travis Edwards, Robert Firme and Hunter Ploch
By the end of 2012, approximately 45.2 million persons were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, and human rights violations and some 15.4 million people were considered refugees by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR) (UNHCR 2012). The number of refugees seen in 2012 has reached unseen levels in the last decade, illuminating the reality that refugee camps are becoming increasingly at risk of violence, famine, and resource depletion.
Almost one quarter of all refugees in the world reside in Sub-Saharan Africa, with about 1.9 million refugees residing in East Africa and the Horn of Africa. The vast majority of these refugees cook their meals by combusting biomass inside of their tents or buildings. Traditional cooking methods put refugees at risk in a variety of ways. First, the mass gathering of biomass (wood) in arid regions of the Horn of Africa can lead to deforestation and other environmental degradation. Moreover, the women that venture large distances to collect the biomass required for cooking are placed at higher risk for rape, abuse, and abduction. Second, cooking inside a home is a dangerous activity as high levels of indoor smoke can lead to respiratory illnesses and premature death. Solar cooking, a cooking technique that uses the sun’s energy to cook food, offers a more sustainable, safer, and inexpensive solution to these problems by significantly reducing the need for biomass for cooking purposes.
The study assesses the feasibility of implementing solar cookers in refugee camps located in the Horn of Africa. Factors that will determine “feasibility” vary spatially and include: surface solar radiation, average cloud coverage, average surface wind speed, proximity of camps to biomass, and population demographics within each camp. The goal for this study was to determine which camps in the Horn of Africa Region, specifically camps in Eritrea, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Djibouti, could benefit the most from solar cooking technology.
A critical examination of Syrian refugee camps in Turkey, by Jennifer Leather and Sophia Paliza-Carre
In response to the growing need for refugee camps as a result of the crisis in Syria, Jennifer and Sophia performed a site analysis for the already established 16 camps in Turkey in order to determine which ones may be less suitable than others and at higher risk than others, especially as winter approached in 2012. By examining six different factors, they hoped to determine which camps will need more support or resources and additionally which areas near the border may be most appropriate to set up additional camps. Thus the research questions they were most interested in were:
- Which factors make Syrian refugee camps more risky to live in than others in Turkey and how?
- Where is the most suitable location for new refugee camps to accommodate incoming refugees?
- How can we use this analysis to inform the Turkish government as to which camps should receive more funding, resources, and attention?