Today, more people are displaced than at any time since the World War II. Political leaders have provided no solution to this date, while many more refugees flee from their home countries.
“A radical solution to the global refugee crisis” – this is how the founder of Refugee Nation describes his solution. Jason Buzi, a San Francisco-based property mogul, developed the idea as almost 60 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes. And he seems serious about it: “It’s almost shocking to me that nobody’s talking about this as a solution.”
The idea is simple. Buzi wants to build an independent country for refugees – the so-called “Refugee Nation”. Buzi has no background in politics or academics, and has never worked for an NGO. But Buzi is financially independent, and passionate about the idea. Through the contacts he made in San Francisco real estate, he hopes to find more prominent supporters for Refugee Nation. As the world needs creative solutions to complex problems, Buzi believes that the world has enough land for hosting all refugees. As Refugee Nation points out, 60 million is still a pretty small amount compared to the total of seven billion people living on earth.
But while Buzi’s innovative and refreshing perspective may lead to other ideas and ultimately the right solution, it is not entirely clear how Refugee Nation would work.
First, the fundamentals of a modern society must be established, such as the country’s law, its rules for living together (since there are likely going to live people with different backgrounds, beliefs and ethnicity), as well as food, water and economics. As such societal concepts cannot be set overnight, it is likely to take considerable time and effort.
Second, Professor Alexander Betts, director of Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford, points out that refugees must be able to choose where to live. “In a globalised world, given freedom of choice, people ultimately want to choose where they live, and are likely to seek to move to where their friends, family and greatest opportunities lie.”
Last, with wars such as the one in Syria as well as the rising power of the IS, the causes of the problem will not be solved. Only in Syria alone, a total of four million people have left the country as refugees, and host countries like Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan lack the capacity to help so many.
As Buzi’s end goal of buying or leasing a large amount of land to create a state will require much more, he is in hope to unite some of the world’s most influential people, ranging from wealthy entrepreneurs to government officials. “If you’ve got Angelina Jolie behind it, for instance, it’s going to influence a lot more people and get more people to know about it,” Mr Buzi said.
But while it is not entirely sure how Refugee Nation would work, Buzi’s idea correctly points out the need for a solution of the current migration crisis. Unfortunately, political leaders are not able to solve the problem themselves, so initiatives such as Refugee Nation are valuable ideas for refugees around the world.