A UNHCR report released in 2015 said: “Wars, conflict and persecution have forced more people than at any other time since records began to flee their homes and seek refuge and safety elsewhere, according to a new report from the UN refugee agency.” The UNHCR’s annual Global Trends Report also released in 2015 said that worldwide displacement was at the highest level ever recorded. It said the number of people forcibly displaced at the end of 2014 had risen to a staggering 59.5 million compared to 51.2 million a year earlier and 37.5 million a decade ago.
Natural disasters, extreme weather, political conflict, war, terrorism and corrupt governments plunge people into poverty every day as people’s means to earn a living and often all of their wealth is torn away from them. Families are often separated from each other and loved ones are lost. There are many and varied interventions required to begin the restoration process and one of these interventions needs to be re-building the economy and enabling people to earn a living. This is the start of the development phase after the initial relief has been provided. Our training has been used with great impact in these contexts. For example we trained in the Philippines in early 2014 soon after two natural disasters occurred in quick succession in the Cebu & Tacloban areas. We have also trained Syrian refugees in the Near East who had been displaced by the war in their nation.
We continue to seek partnerships with organisations providing this kind of relief & aid work where we can help by providing business skills & entrepreneurial training for displaced and affected bread-winners and through this, assist in the process of re-building the local economy and creating jobs. If aid is provided for too long, this can stifle local enterprise and so we believe that as soon as is feasible, economic and social empowerment projects like our training need to come in to help re-build.