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UN’s Guterres urges global solidarity to refugees

Author: Chany Ninrew | Published: Thursday, June 20, 2024

António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations. (Credit| UN News Centre

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres laments the humanitarian impact of conflicts and climate crisis across the world, and appeals for international support to refugees and asylum seekers.

Guterres said wars and climate chaos are displacing a record numbers of people – from Sudan to Ukraine, from the Middle East to Myanmar to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and beyond.

In a press statement on World Refugee Day, the UN chief said the refugee crisis has fueled “profound human suffering.”

There are currently more than 120 million people around the world who are forcibly displaced including 43.5 million refugees, Guterres said citing figures.

“World Refugee Day is about honoring their strength and courage – and stepping up efforts to protect and support refugees on every step of their journey. Refugees need global solidarity and the ability to rebuild their lives in dignity,” he said in the statement.

“When given the opportunity, refugees make significant contributions to their host communities, but they need access to equal opportunities and to jobs, housing, and healthcare.”

Mr. Guterres further underscored the need for quality education for refugees children in their host countries in order to achieve their dreams.

He also calls for support and resource to “generous” host countries, mostly low- or middle-income countries, for them to fully include refugees in societies and economies.

“Let us pledge to reaffirm the world’s collective responsibility in assisting and welcoming refugees, in upholding their human rights including the right to seek asylum, in safeguarding the integrity of the refugee protection regime, and ultimately, in resolving conflicts so that those forced from their communities can return home.”

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, warned on Wednesday that without concerted peace efforts, many more people will flee the brutal war in Sudan and into neighboring countries.

Nine million people have been displaced since war broke out, making Sudan the world’s most pressing displacement crisis, according to UNHCR figures.

Nearly two million people have fled beyond the country’s borders, mainly to South Sudan, Chad and Egypt.

UNHCR further said nearly 440,000 South Sudanese refugees live across White Nile State, a third of whom have been forced to flee yet again from other states in Sudan due to the conflict.

“Civilians did not start this war, yet they pay the price for it. We need the warring parties to stop targeting them, and to immediately facilitate humanitarian access to communities that require life-saving aid,” said Grandi.

The UN refugee agency and partners said they have scaled up response efforts in White Nile and other areas, reaching some 800,000 displaced Sudanese since the war started.

It added that access constraints have limited the presence of humanitarians and hampered the safe and timely movement of aid supplies, including crossline and across borders.


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