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Refugee Care: Resolution Phase


How long does one remain a refugee?  Imagine abandoning your home over fear of losing your life, and then often living without family, possessions, livelihood, or ability to plan for your future. Even with significant assistance, such a limbo existence must be as short as possible. Now we consider Refugee Care, Phase 4, the Resolution Phase.


Today, the refugee crisis surrounding Ukraine is solidly within Phase 2–3: the Emergency Phase and the Maintenance Phase. In the future, long-term solutions must be explored for these 10 million displaced people.


What are the options? In brief, they include repatriation to one’s country of origin, integration in the host country, or resettlement in a third country. Repatriation to ones home country is usually preferred. Most often, people want to return to their own language, culture, neighborhood, and even house.  One recent example includes Angolans who fled that nation’s civil war returning to Angola from bordering nations.


Integration into the host country is less common. Following ISIS takeover over eastern Syria, hundreds of thousands fled into northern Iraq. While ISIS no longer controls territory, many Syrians continue to be threatened by ISIS elements. They have no intention of ever returning to Syria, and some are being granted permanent resident status in Iraq.


A small proportion of refugees will ultimately be settled in a third nation, such as the Germany or Sweden. Many Vietnamese people fleeing the 1975 fall of Saigon, for example, entered neighboring nations and were ultimately given resident status in the United States.


The anticipated stages of refugee care – Pre-Emergent, Emergency, Maintenance, and Resolution – may prove to be not so predictable. New crises can spark recurrent waves of migration. Instability within host countries may force relocation of refugees. Diplomatic setbacks frequently delay the resolution phase. Nevertheless, such stages provide a critical roadmap for providing care for these most vulnerable people.


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