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Honoring the strength and courage of refugees, UN Secretary-General urges

That’s a record number moving – “evokes profound human suffering”, added António Guterres, while honoring their strength and courage.

Drawing attention on June 20 each year also aims to strengthen efforts to protect and support those forced to flee their homes “at every stop of the journey.”

Equal opportunities

“Refugees need global solidarity and the ability to rebuild their lives with dignity,” he continued.

When given the opportunity, refugees make significant contributions to their host communitiesBut they need access to equal opportunities as well as jobs, housing and health care.”

Young people need quality education in a context of upheaval, and generous host countries also need resources so that refugees can fully integrate into society and the workforce.

“Let us recommit ourselves to reaffirming the world’s collective responsibility to support and welcome refugees,” the Secretary-General said, upholding their human rights – including the right of asylum – and ultimately help resolve the conflicts that are forcing so many people to flee their homes.

Spotlight on Sudan: Director of UNHCR

Head of the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) make a special statement just before the day, from the border between Sudan and South Sudan.

“The picture is rarely as desperate as where I am now, in Jamjang, South Sudan. In recent months Nearly 700,000 people have crossed the border from neighboring Sudanfleeing a brutal war that took away their homes, their loved ones – everything,” Filippo Grandi said.

The rival armies began fighting in and around the capital Khartoum last April, sparking a war in which more than 15,000 people are confirmed dead and nearly 9.5 million forced to relocate, including nearly 2 million people crossing the Sudan border.

Fleeing brutal violence

The last remaining city in Government hands in Darfur is under a brutal siege and the region’s last functional hospital, in El Fasher, has been closed due to fighting.

Mr. Grandi pointed out that some South Sudanese fled their homeland due to the civil war there and are now being forced to return home to villages that are still struggling to recover. Others are Sudanese – teachers, doctors, shopkeepers and farmers – who now have to navigate life as refugees.

“Refugees arriving at the border are It’s not just a problem for rich countries. Three-quarters of the world’s refugees live in low or modest income countries – it is wrong and irresponsible to assume that most are trying to reach Europe or the United States“, he say.

He said the countries hosting Sudanese refugees showed solidarity that is possible “even in the most difficult circumstances. I commend them for that. But they cannot do it alone. At a time of division and upheaval, refugees – and those hosting them – need all of us to come together.”

Keep hope alive

The head of UNHCR said there are still many reasons for hope and this international day is also an opportunity to celebrate the progress that has been achieved.

He noted that a bold new development plan in Kenya will transform former refugee camps into settlements where refugees will have more opportunities for advancement.

And in Colombia, UNHCR is supporting a government system that includes nearly 2.3 million Venezuelan refugees who have fled repression at home in the labor market.

“In Ukraine, we have helped build a platform that supports people who are cautiously returning to repair or rebuild their homes.”

Thinking long-term is key, he added, focusing on sustainability and collaborating with governments, development partners and others.

Let us not leave refugees in limbo; Instead, let’s give them the opportunity to use their skills, talents and contribute to the community that welcomed them,” Mr. Grandi emphasized.

Check out our interview with UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Mary Maker from South Sudan celebrating World Refugee Day with an important message for young refugees:


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