Al-Azhar Observatory (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Earlier this week, the AOCE issued a report on refugees' conditions, stating that "the horrific statistics and numbers of victims represent a blow to the era of technology and human rights". It also demanded Mediterranean countries increase their capacities to address drowning accidents, calling on the United Nations to endorse legislation that forces countries to prioritize saving lives.
By 2022, worldwide conflicts have been leading to new waves of irregular migration as more countries export refugees, the report said.
The report mentions that wars and conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Libya, Sudan, and other African countries, as well as the Ukrainian-Russian war, have led to an increase in refugee numbers around the world, heralding a major humanitarian disaster.
AOCE also mentioned statements by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which state that in 2021, the number of displaced Ukrainians had exceeded 7.7 million with an estimated 1,924 deaths due to the Russian-Ukrainian war.
"The number of dead and missing refugees is expected to double in 2022 compared to 2021," the report said, quoting the UNHCR.
The Observatory lauded Egyptian efforts in hosting migrants, especially Syrians. It also stated that UNHCR representative in Egypt Pablo Mateu has praised the Egyptian government's decision to allow Syrian refugee children to join public schools.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said in late 2021 that he “does not allow his country to be a transit point for irregular migrants seeking to reach Europe”, stressing that Egypt hosts almost 6 million refugees from Africa and "other unstable countries".
El-Sisi stressed that, with a human rights-based approach, Egypt has no camps for refugees but treats them as guests, allows them to join schools and universities, and includes them in the coronavirus vaccination campaign.