The first world needs to hear the voices of the silent

A recipe for global conflict in the 21st century and walls, barriers and missiles won’t keep the demography in check. Action on climate change, anybody?

From the slums of Kabul to the shanties of Damascus, more than half of the world’s refugees are now scraping by on tiny strips of land in increasingly overcrowded, overburdened cities.

Rather than living in rows of neatly pegged white canvas UN tents set up in fields as the public might imagine it, aid officials have revealed that more than 50 per cent of the planet’s 10.5 million refugees are now battling to get by in urban areas. Cities also contain more than 20 million internal refugees and displaced people.