Continued from Exodus II
But the truth is that no one wants to foot the bill, despite public demonstrations and declarations of “I will hold a refugee”. It comes with preferences such as “I will have a family”, “I will have a male refugee”, “I will have a kid refugee, of my certain age” But, of this new intake, or the others? Refugees arrive in Europe, and Britain, every year. Isn’t it discrimination for the refugees that have been living in centres for a long time? Shouldn’t they have priority to go an stay with Nicola Surgeon, for instance? Bob Geldorf is also taking on a family, apparently. He surely must have room for more. Although I’m not sure if there will be any takers.
Nobody wants to foot the bill as saving human life doesn’t come cheap. None of us wants a “Displaced, Refugees, Migrant, Disaster and other aids Tax”. And money is not magically created; well, machines print it, but the case is that, if it turns up in one place, it is missing from another. And when you ask for money to be diverted to one place, you may not know from what place, however much it hurts, will be displaced until you are in need of it.
No institution is ready to use their own money. Everyone wants funding, everyone wants resources. But resources often get “lost” on the way, even in ONGs with the best intentions in the world. “I’ll take that many refugees if I get correlating funding”, just won’t do. Charity is charity and business is something else.
This is not an isolated problem or war. Other disasters will come. Next year’s war may be in Venezuela, or Zaire, or Thailand. What is the plan for future war and disasters? We are currently reacting to these problems, often, years later. Wouldn’t it make sense to have some plan? A realistic one, please.
Rifts between previously amicable relationships in European countries are concerning. Too many kings for such a small kingdom. In the meantime, nothing is organised on a big scale, every country seems to be doing their own thing and looking after their own interests in some measure, as everyone is overwhelmed.
The case is that thousands are travelling daily through Europe unsupervised. Which is not what the dissolution of the frontiers was agreed for. It was created for European citizens free travel and mobilisation, not for any non paying taxes body else. Is it their right to demand help? And at what cost? There are cases of some refugees already not integrating, defying authorities, escaping camps, bothering the riot police. And no, we don’t know which side anyone is in or who is a political refugee, an economical migrant, a spy, a terrorist in disguise, or an adventure freak. But just guessing doesn’t help either. In any case, it’s not enough to feed the new arrivals, “giving them one fish” will only temporarily hold the problem, you have to “teach them to fish”. Education and integration is highly important if they are here to stay for any length of time.
The refugee camps are just containers for the destitute. Measures for immediate help must be taken. The help must be, as initial point of contact, on the South and East parts of the Mediterranean, before the boats attempt the crossing. Food, medical help and registration need to be at the point of entry in all countries. Those are the short term measures. Mid length is thinking about the future, whereabouts and sustainability of the displaced. Long term is politically stabilising the regions and facilitate the return of those displaced by conflicts.
And winter is coming.