Children born and raised in refugee camps
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Being born in a refugee camp
One can imagine how traumatic it can be on the young mother to give birth in a refugee camp, and what long term impact it may have on the baby. But whatever the circumstance that brought the family to take refuge, it is hard to believe that many remain in the camp for very long periods of time. Many children and thus born and raised within the confines of the camp, and receive whatever schooling the relief agencies are able to provide.
In one refugee camp alone, the Zaatari Regugee Camp in Jordan1 which shelters refugees from the Syrian civil war, around 30,000 babies are delivered within the camp's only clinic equipped with a delivery room and which operates 24/72.
Long term refugee camps
Theoretically, refugee camps are meant to provide temporary relief (shelter and provision for basic human needs. They are not meant to last beyond what's necessary to recover from a natural disaster (earthquake, flood, drought and famine, etc.) or from some man-made disaster (civil war, genocide...).
Unfortunately, some camps have existed for decades. Many among those born in the camps end up spending most, if not all, their childhood there. They are thus deprived of the most basic opportunities that we (who can access this web site and read this article) have taken for granted our entire lives.
For example, the Dadaab refugee camp, Kenya, has been operating for over 20 years and now houses 300,000 people and three generations of refugees 3.
- Dadaab, a refugee camp in Kenya, operating since the early 1990s.
- Budburam, a refugee camp in Ghana, in operation since 1990.
- Syria's refugees: birth and life in Zaatari camp – in pictures.
- Twitter account of Abdikadir @RefugeeHope : "I've lived in the refugee camp at Dadaab (run by the UNHCR) for 21 years. I got married here, my three children were born here, and I work for an NGO here now.".
- [July 2013] In Zaatari Refugee Camp, Numerous Babies Are Born Every Day And Go Unnoticed By World
- [Aug 2013] Syrian crisis: The babies born into fear in refugee camp far away from home.
- [Mar 2011] Dadaab refugee camps: 20 years of living in crisis.
- 1. The Zaatari Refugee camp is located in Mafraq Governorate, around 80km northeast of Amman. In 2013, it sheltered over 160,000 Syrian refugees.
- 2. [July 2013] Around 10 babies born every day in Zaatari Refugee Camp.
- 3. See: Dadaab refugee camps: 20 years of living in crisis.
- 4. TODO: http://www.google.com/search?q=long+term+refugee+camps http://www.refugeesinternational.org/ http://www.unhcr.org/ http://www.provisionofhope.com/