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World Refugee Day 2021: Are we doing enough for refugees? | ticker VIEWS



An Eritrean refugee.

Today marks World Refugee Day — the international day to support and protect refugees across the globe. It also calls for refugees to be included in healthcare, education and sport.

World Refugee Day was first held globally in 2001, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.

According to the UN Refugees Agency, there are 82.4 million people who have been forcibly displaced — a figure that has more than doubled from last decade (41 million in 2010).

The leading causes of this displacement include persecution, conflict, violence, human rights violations and disaster-related events.

Sixty-eight percent of the world’s refugees come from just five countries: Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan, and Myanmar.

Naomi Steer is the Australia for UNHCR National Director, who says the increased frequency of climate change disasters has driven internal displacement.

“The dynamics of conflict, poverty, food insecurity and climate change are increasingly interconnected, and we’re finding more people displaced from a combination of these key drivers in search of safety, security or more hospitable environments,” she said.

Putting faces to the statistics

George Najarian is an Armenian refugee from Syria. Today, he resides in Australia and has raised over $12,000 for refugees. He has also spent countless hours volunteering and educating thousands about refugees.

“I’m proud of being a refugee because that shaped me,” he says.

“But I don’t want to stay just in the past, because the past has gone and I have a chance to shape the future, help others and contribute to Australia.”

Similarly, Sarab Shada was born and raised in Baghdad before she resettled in Sydney in 2019.

“Growing up in Iraq, there were no places for me to use my voice apart from the local church. So, I joined the church choir and sang with them for several years until my travels began.”

“Since arriving in Australia, I’ve completed my international certification as an English language teacher while going through the lengthy process of recognising my international degree,” she said.

The impacts of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed contemporary society as we once knew it. But these impacts are being felt on a much greater scale in refugee communities.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations believes a whole-of-community approach is the key to future success.

Likewise, Ms Steer says 2020 was a devastating year for new internal displacements.

“2020 saw disasters trigger more than 30 million new internal displacements, the highest number in a decade and more than three times the displacements triggered by conflict and violence.”

In fact, 34,400 refugees were resettled to third countries in 2020. This is a 69 per cent drop from the previous year.

“COVID has dramatically magnified the risks in the past year, including many people stuck in desperate situations and finding it difficult to get proper help. It’s clear the impact on displaced people will be with us for years to come,” Ms Steer says.

Who hosts refugees?

In the Sahel region of Africa, which lies between the Sahara and the Sudanian Savanna, nearly 750,000 people were newly displaced last year.

The UNHCR believes it is one of the most complex regional crises worldwide. In Ethiopia, more than 750,000 people were displaced last year. Around 54,000 people fled the Tigray region into Sudan.

But where else do these refugees travel to? Turkey hosted nearly 3.7 million refugees last year. Similarly, Colombia, Pakistan, Uganda and Germany all took over one million refugees.

But Ms Steer says cross-sector collaboration and shared responsibility is the key.

“Governments, the private sector, corporations and individuals all have a part to play in keeping refugees safe,” Ms Steer says.

Are we doing enough?

World Refugee Day 2021 gives us the chance to reflect and think about how we can make the world a better place.

We know that there are people behind the statistics, and the data shows us that the global situation has worsened in recent times.

A 2017 survey from World Vision found that 91 percent of young people want to do more to help refugees. While, 14 percent believe Australia is doing enough.

But there are many small steps that we can make to raise awareness and funds for refugees.

This week, people took part in the 2021 Ration Challenge. It involves people eating the same rations that as Syrian refugees in Jordan for one week. This consists of 1.9 kilograms of rice, 170 grams of lentils, and 85 grams of dried chickpeas.

The Shoe Project, also encourages refugees and immigrants to improve their communication skills and work towards their goals in Canada. The program shows how footwear can make or break a journey, and shape a new future through interactive writing workshops.

The UNHCR also relies on generous donations and support from communities around the world.

Times may be tough for many, but World Refugee Day is a stark reminder of the vast inequality that many face on a daily basis.

Whether you are able to donate, or take part in one of the many grassroots programs, or not; take the time to think about the millions of displaced people, and their families on this World Refugee Day 2021.

Costa is a news producer at ticker NEWS. He has previously worked as a regional journalist at the Southern Highlands Express newspaper. He also has several years' experience in the fire and emergency services sector, where he has worked with researchers, policymakers and local communities. He has also worked at the Seven Network during their Olympic Games coverage and in the ABC Melbourne newsroom. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Professional), with expertise in journalism, politics and international relations. His other interests include colonial legacies in the Pacific, counter-terrorism, aviation and travel.


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Five reasons it’s so expensive to travel right now



We’ve been waiting years to go on holiday, but wow it’s expensive to fly. Here are the five reasons it’s so expensive to travel right now

Remember the good old days of competition in the travel industry? Those were the days. Now every time you look to book a flight, the prices are soaring. Even if you want to use your points.

The airline industry is complex, so a total shut down of the industry was always going to have long term effects. The long hangover from the shutdowns and lockdowns are with us.

So let’s break down the five key reasons your flight is so expensive.

“Revenge travel”

It’s not just you who wants to go overseas and change up the scenery. Everyone else is thinking the same thing.

And as the northern hemisphere enjoys its first lockdown free summer in years, everyone is clamouring to use all that saved up cash, topped up with government assistance, to spend on flights.

The simple supply versus demand philosophy means it’s become an airline’s dream to push up prices while often pushing down the value of the ticket. How bad are those airline meals at the moment?

Big planes are grounded

Remember the good old 747 and A380s? Well you’re doing well to find a 747 in the skies these days. The last remaining airlines that were operating them used the cover of COVID to either reduce their fleet of the ageing Queen of the Skies, or retire them altogether.

Then there’s the A380, which is integral to huge airline flees like Emirates.

They were first to go into storage in the desert in 2020 as the pandemic hit. Airlines noticed its often cheaper to fly two 787s on the same route as an A380. So they are begrudgingly bringing the super jumbo back, but only once all their 787s are back in service first.

Don’t you just long for the days of extra space on a plane?

Rocketing fuel prices

In some cases, spot prices for aviation fuel has soared to 80 per cent! Airlines usually rely on hedging fuel prices (as in locking the price in in advance). But not many carriers in Asia do that, meaning they are at risk of fluctuating oil prices.

Airlines have a simple strategy for dealing with rising fuel prices – passing the cost on to consumers. Some passengers flying out of Asia are finding that a flight to London in economy is now $5000, five times the price.

The war in Ukraine hasn’t helped matters either, with Russian oil now missing from the global supply chain. That’s pushing up the cost of resources everywhere, and there’s no sign that’s about to end.

Lack of staff

Airline staff get COVID too, and in some (hilarious) cases, front line staff are returning to stop working from home!

Airlines have rules in place regarding how many flight attendants and pilots need to be on board an aircraft. And with so many different types of planes in service, some flight attendants can only work on certain aircraft types.

That severely limits the capability of airlines to quickly man aircraft in an emergency. And one cancellation snowballs into a travel nightmare.

Airports are struggling too. Lack of maintenance at baggage carousels and airport equipment means some airports are relying on just one vehicle to help every plane back out of a gate.

Remember when the pandemic hit and airlines sacked thousands of workers? The airlines didn’t think they would need them all back so quickly, and highly skilled pilots went on to find other, perhaps more stable jobs.

Accountants taking over

Airlines are big businesses with gigantic overheads. Think of the cost of a plane, which often reaches over $300 million.

Then add the cost of airports, fuel and staff.

Qantas had a debt bomb of $6.5 billion at the height of the pandemic, and while governments have been throwing money at airlines to stay in business, they still are a business.

Airlines need to make a profit, they need to return value to shareholders, and they need to pay down debt to stay financial. Not to mention cashflow.

So regardless of the airport queue, or the soggy sandwich you’re eating in business class, think of the balding accountants praying for good news.

And keep your eye out for some bargains. It’s not all doom and gloom. Some airlines are even allowing you to burn your points on upgrades. So why fly economy?

And if you can hang on a few months longer, you might enjoy cheaper fares. But no promises.

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Disney vs Netflix – who will win the streaming revenue raise?



Netflix and Disney shares fall as the streaming companies fight to stay on top of their game

Investors to evaluate Walt Disney’s shift from cable television to subscription service as the company’s shares fall by 31 percent.

This comes after Netflix announced its first ever decrease in subscribers last month. The company reported a loss of 200,000 subscribers in its first quarter while predicting more losses ahead.

Netflix’s decision to suspend its services in Russia also led to a loss of 700,000 subscribers. It’s shares have also fallen by a staggering 71 percent this year, a bigger loss than its competitor Disney.

While Netflix struggles with its subscriber count, FactSet Estimates predicts Disney+ to have attracted 5.3 million new subscribers through march leading to a total of about 135.1 million subscribers.

Disney also predicts it will have amassed more than 230 million subscribers by September 2024.

Netflix is reportedly considering adding an advertisement-based subscription option by the end of the year as the company looks at how to stay competitive in the increasingly saturated streaming market.

In a previous statement, Netflix’s chief executive said they were looking to introduce advertisements in a year or two but a leaked internal note to the employees has revealed the company is introducing it as early as October 2022.

The note also says Netflix will begin cracking down on password sharing by monetizing it.

All of this has resulted in Netflix being sued by shareholders who argue they have been mislead about the state of the company and future prospects.

Rijul Baath contributed to this report

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