(Washington, D.C.) July 8, 2013 — In today's audio edition of The Refugee Voice we'll hear from a refugee from Afghanistan who has been living in Panama City, Panama, for more than three years. This man had a successful business before being forced to flee his country.
Urban refugees often live a hand to mouth existence, facing a myriad of obstacles ranging from xenophobia to detention. Isolation, restrictive and inadequate government policies and resource constraints all take on increased significance in urban settings. Despite neglect and intolerance, the number of urban refugees is rising. Today more than half of the world's 43 million refugees live outside of camps.
Believing he was escaping to Canada, Hamid began a long and winding journey. He was shuttled from location to location by several men, none of whom allowed him to interact with people along the way, or who offered him much in the ways of information about where they were or where they were headed next.
Hamid* is just one of more than 40 million people around the world who are refugees or forcibly displaced. Unfortunately, his story is not unique.
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*not his real name