Generous aid to Ukraine is diverting resources away from other refugee crises around the world

Nearly 10 months since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the ongoing war has produced over 7.7 million refugees.

An additional 7 million Ukrainians have lost their homes and are struggling with acute shortages of food, water, shelter and other basic needs.

Though the delivery of humanitarian assistance has suffered as a result of Russian airstrikes and disruption of commercial supply lines, the international response to the Ukraine crisis has been remarkable.

Since January 2022, the U.S. government, for instance, has committed more than US$18.2 billion in security assistance to Ukraine, with approximately $17.6 billion dedicated to train and equip Ukrainian armed forces.

The humanitarian response – including policies to absorb Ukrainian refugees and provision of emergency relief – has also been remarkable. The 2022 “Stand Up for Ukraine” global pledging campaign raised $8.9 billion.

U.N. spokesperson Stephane Dujarric stated: “This is among the fastest and most generous responses a humanitarian flash appeal has ever received.”

A protracted refugee crisis in Bangladesh

The international attention focused on Ukraine comes at a time when other humanitarian crises around the world are receiving less attention and assistance than they need.

As a scholar of refugees and forcible displacement, I spent the summer of 2022 researching the changes in Bangladesh’s policies toward the Rohingya, an ethnic group that is largely Muslim.

Since 2017, in what was recognized as the fastest and largest refugee influx since the 1994 Rwandan genocide, more than 773,000 Rohingya crossed the border to neighboring Bangladesh to flee the Myanmar government’s genocidal campaign against them.