January 29, 2017
#OP | Can Africa Take Care of its Own Amidst Trump's Travel Ban Debacle?

President Trump did enter the white house with a bang, as he’s already been making impactful decisions for communities such as the LGBTQ and now Muslim refugees.

As one of the greatest countries in the world and the one known as the‘‘land of the free’’, America has greatly contributed in giving opportunities to many people in the world, by offering a better and stable quality of life.

However, President Donald Trump has decided to affect this process as he suspended entry into the US for citizens of  3 African countries, which are Libya, Somalia and Sudan, in addition to Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Yemen. The people of these countries mostly migrate to America as refugees. In fact, for many of them, conflicts, human rights abuses and long-term unemployment are the norm, and are reasons to flee or immigrate to the U.S.

Although America welcomes a lot of refugees to its territory, it is far behind on the list of countries that really look after most refugees of the world. In fact, according to the UN Refugee agency, Africa, the mother land, tends to host more refugees than any other place in the world with 29% of displaced people hosted in Africa and 39% hosted in North Africa and the Middle East. However, the American continent which includes the U.S. only welcomes 12% of the world’s displaced people.

With these numbers, we are compelled to wonder why the travel ban is such a big deal when it won’t greatly affect the status of most refugees worldwide. As a smidge of answer, we could say that the economic strength of America and how this country has been portrayed to the rest of the world have given people the opportunity to overtly dream for a better a life, ignorant of the fact that the probability of this dream to become reality is less than 12%.

As all eyes of hope have been pointing up to Uncle Sam, many overlooked the fact that 86% of the world’s refugees are living in developing countries. Countries that try to do their best to provide decent living conditions to refugees, although it seems to be extremely difficult with the climb of instability in the world and despite the help of many NGOs.

Of all the countries in the world, according to The World Bank report , Chad, Ethiopia and Kenya each hosted over 450 million refugees in 2014, compared to more developed countries like the U.S. and those in western Europe, which did not reach 300 million refugees hosted.

Also, the tiny African country of Djibouti is admired for its dedication to offering full integration to its refugees. With a population of fewer than 900,000 people, today Djibouti hosts 22,640 refugees and asylum-seekers. That equals 2.5 percent of its entire population, Yemenese who are now banned by America, account for a huge part of those who find refuge in Djibouti, as it is only a few hours boat ride to yemen.

The obvious imbalance in refugees' assistance worldwide, coupled with the change in American political decisions, reinforces the need for Africans to learn to take care of each other.

As many African countries are meeting the standard of human development and keep grooming some of the richest people in the world, we should realize the responsibility this continent has to take care of its own while relying less on outside help.

As president Trump has openly declared that America will no longer open its doors to Muslim refugees, Africa, which is mostly Muslim and already affected by Islamist terrorism must work on a plan now.

Sources:
unhcr.org
worldbank.org
cnn.com

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