The co-responsibility of reversing the situation of neglected people

World Refugee Day was celebrated on 20 June in a particularly delicate context for this group, with unprecedented numbers of refugees. Gaby Cabrera-Serra, International Program Manager at Fundación Probitas, analyses the global situation of refugees and the help that can be provided to them through partnerships such as the one between the foundation and Spanish UNHCR Committee.

Since 2019, Fundación Probitas has provided technical and financial support to UNHCR in its work to strengthen the capacities of the public health system in Nigeria in the diagnosis, prevention and comprehensive care of malaria and other neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) among Cameroonian refugees and host communities.

Over the past decade we have learned that collective and coordinated action can influence decision-making, despite witnessing a systematic breach of fundamental principles of international law.

As Von Neumann, Morgenstern, and John Nash noted in 1951, "we need archipelagos of certainty" "to navigate this ocean of uncertainties," as Edgar Morin completed in 1991. The phrase is more relevant than ever at a time when we are witnessing the largest population displacement in more than half a century: 80 million people (1% of the world's population and more than half under the age of 18) have been forced to flee their homes as a result of conflict and persecution.

The responsibility to protect principle must be constructed on the concrete progress already made, and draw lessons learned from previous protection initiatives. It is impossible to protect the right to life while trying to discourage the entry of people by putting their lives at risk. However, the right to life cannot be limited by nationality, restricted by borders or by the fortuitousness of a person's place of birth. Poverty is the scarcity or lack of what is necessary to live; and refuge refers to the protection or shelter that a person finds in another or in something, freeing them from danger.

Last April, the WHO asked countries to cover refugees and immigrants and provide them with the measures to contain the pandemic, especially in camps where they face specific vulnerabilities, running a greater risk of contracting all kinds of diseases. Access to health and universal coverage are necessary conditions to achieve health and social well-being.

The curse of natural resources is a topic as paradoxical as it is controversial since countries rich in natural resources tend to have poor economic development. The Global Compact on Refugees addresses this concern. The pact recognizes that "climate, environmental degradation and natural disasters increasingly interact with the causes behind refugee displacement", with pollution being the largest environmental cause of illness and premature death in the world today.

Gaby Cabrera-Serra, International Program Manager of Fundación Probitas, highlights that "public-private alliances and partnerships at the service of the common good in this global village have the opportunity to improve our societies, making the economy progress as an instrument to care for people and their environment and thus avoid forced migration".