The RELIEF Centre aims to change the way we understand and manage mass displacement of people. There are currently 65.6 million forcibly displaced people in the world (UNHCR, 2017). This means that 1 in every 122 people on the planet is now either a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum.
But the burden of displacement is not shared equally - poor countries host vastly more displaced people than wealthier countries. Anti-refugee sentiment is high in Europe, yet low and middle income countries are hosting 86% of the world’s refugees. Lebanon hosts the most refugees in relation to its population, with almost one in five people being refugees according to the UNHCR (UNHCR, 2016: 5).
The RELIEF Centre aims to speed up transitions to sustainable, prosperous societies in the context of mass displacement, to improve the quality of people's lives.
The RELIEF Centre will have both conceptual and policy impact by reframing debates surrounding:
1. The future development of sustainable cities
2. The education and capacity-building of refugees
3. The use of new educational technologies to deliver education to people on the move
4. The indicators and metrics which communities, NGOs, academics and governments use to assess well-being and prosperity.
In so doing, it will inform the development of policy, practice and service provision on international, national and local levels.