Migrants crisis: playing a part

The Business Times
View From The Top
Published: 14 Sept 2015

What is the proper humanitarian response to the Mediterranean migrants crisis? Do other nations, beyond Europe, also bear a responsibility to do their part?

THIS refugee crisis is a very complicated one. The Syrian civil war has displaced more than four million people to date, and only a few thousand have found asylum in willing countries thus far.

Just because it is not happening in our backyard does not mean we should turn a blind eye. This is a catastrophe of epic proportions that demands a global response, and every country in the developed world needs to play its part in helping to find a solution to this humanitarian tragedy.

While compassion is key, there are of course practical points to consider. Realistically, the receiving country must have the necessary resources in terms of provision of decent housing, food, education, jobs, etc. It requires more than a short-term outlook, as these refugees will need to be assimilated into society in the host country in the long run.

We all know what the proper humanitarian response should be. However, it is a very challenging conundrum, partly because history has shown how such situations can give rise to deeper social issues within the host country over time.

Taking Singapore as an example, we would certainly not be able to host these refugees given our limited land mass. We could, however, offer our assistance in other forms such as financial or to help devise a long-term solution to this problem via the United Nations.

Ronald Lee
Managing Director
PrimeStaff Management Services Pte Ltd

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