Sunday, December 17, 2017

David Miliband

David Miliband is president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee. His new book is Rescue: Refugees and the Political Crisis of Our Time.

From his Q&A with Rachel Cooke at the Guardian:

Your book bulges with statistics about the refugee crisis. If you could pick just one, what would it be and why?

It would be that the average duration of displacement for a refugee is 10 years, and that once someone has been outside their own country for five years, that figure rises to 21 years. This demands a complete change in the humanitarian system. We have to recalibrate our vision: aid in the 21st century is about helping people to thrive as well as survive. This means providing education and employment, as well as food aid.

Politicians can be somewhat detached, not to say grand. Has leading the IRC made you more humble?

When I met [in 2009] Tamil women in the Jaffna peninsula in Sri Lanka whose husbands had been taken from them [“for screening”], that was humbling. But talking to women in a similar position on the Syrian border today was equally humbling. My reaction was the same, even though on the first occasion I was foreign secretary, and on the second I was working for an NGO. Hopefully, I’m someone who’s learning all the time. The upside of an NGO job is that you deal in human stories, and that you have more entrepreneurial freedom; the downside is...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue