Astonishing time-lapse satellite imagery shows rapid growth of refugee camps

The Washington Post
By Max Bearak
September 19, 2016

On Mon­day, mem­ber coun­tries will con­vene at the Unit­ed Nations head­quar­ters in New York City for a sum­mit on the glob­al refugee cri­sis. They will try to agree on a more humane, coor­di­nat­ed response.

The cri­sis has reached unprece­dent­ed pro­por­tions. There are upward of 65.3 mil­lion forcibly dis­placed peo­ple world­wide. A third of them are in coun­tries oth­er than their own. Ten mil­lion of them were born as refugees and remain state­less, which gives a sense of the intractabil­i­ty of many conflicts.

Inter­na­tion­al insti­tu­tions have scram­bled to pro­vide food, med­ical treat­ment, shel­ter and safe­ty. The office of the Unit­ed Nations High Com­mis­sion­er for Refugees plays a lead­ing role in set­ting up camps, both for inter­nal­ly and exter­nal­ly dis­placed peo­ple. Count­less oth­er orga­ni­za­tions, big and small, lead and bol­ster that push, depend­ing on the location.

New time-lapse satel­lite imagery of the bur­geon­ing camps from above, shot and com­piled by a pri­vate com­pa­ny called Plan­et, pro­vides a remark­able visu­al of the cri­sis. The images give a sense of the need for a quick response from the inter­na­tion­al com­mu­ni­ty as con­flict aris­es so as to avoid a human­i­tar­i­an catastrophe.

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