Colorado is taking in more refugees as national numbers soar.
Credit United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees
With global conflicts on the rise, refugee numbers have catapulted to more than 50 million worldwide, making the number of displaced people from conflicts the highest seen since World War II. Colorado has a larger share of refugees than most states, with the majority coming from Bhutan and Myanmar.
A unique partnership between the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management at the University of Denver and the African Community Center is playing an increasingly important role toward that high success rate.
Mark Ward is the U.S. State Department's senior adviser on assistance to Syria, and when he heard the Syrian border town of Azaz was overrun by an offshoot of al-Qaida in September, he knew it was time to get creative again.
"You always have to have a plan B in this kind of work," he says.
Ward is based in Turkey. His job is to oversee a growing and unusual U.S. humanitarian assistance program in rebel-held areas in seven provinces across northern Syria.
The World Health Organization says the Syrian civil war is currently the worst ongoing humanitarian crisis on earth.
Aid groups have been scrambling to provide shelter, food, water and health care to the huge numbers of people who've been uprooted by the fighting. The big question now is whether U.S. military action could spark another wave of refugees and make the situation worse.