Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Talk About Barking Up the Wrong Tree

Just now in the mail I got an unsolicited envelope from "UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency."
Apparently, they want me to pony up some dough-re-mi for the "Syria Crisis" because "REFUGEES ARE DYING FOR A CHANCE TO LIVE."
Looking at the several items inside, I learn that not only will my funds go to help fleeing Syrians, they "will also have an immediate impact for the hundreds of thousands of refugees who have not fled to Europe, but are currently living in camps in countries bordering Syria, including Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey."
In another insert, printed on glossy, more expensive paper, the agency has helpfully crunched some numbers for me. Under the heading "Refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean to Europe," I learn the following:
2016 arrivals as of 15 March 2016
153,158 arrivals by sea
448 dead/missing

1,015,078 arrivals by sea
 3,700 dead/missing
Good to know. And I'm perfectly willing to throw some support UNHCR's way--just as soon as the UN can explain to my satisfaction why Palestinians are the only ones who merit their own personal UN refugee agency--UNRWA--even though the war that displaced them occurred almost 70 years ago.
Seems more than a little unfair--and more than a little agenda-driven--to me.

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