Refugees deserve the right opportunities in their host countries

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In his message for World Refugee Day, António Guterres called on host countries to provide these people with the necessary opportunities as they bring their host communities a “new life, prosperity and a rich cultural diversity”.

The UN head affirmed that refugees deserve “opportunities to heal, learn, work and prosper. Opportunities to return to their place of origin if they so choose, or to rebuild their lives elsewhere, in safety and dignity.”

Côte d’Ivoire an example of voluntary return of refugees

For his part, the High Commissioner of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Filippo Grandi, recalled that the number of people forced to flee their homes now exceeds one hundred million, “something that seemed unimaginable”, and showed his concern about the lack of answers to this growing trend.

“The lack of solutions continues to grow as the number of people forced to flee exceeds the number of people who can return home, resettle in a third country or fully integrate with their host country. In other words, the forced displacement is outpacing the response to people fleeing”.

To remedy this situation, Grandi called on world leaders to join forces in building peace and to end the complicated situation suffered by displaced people “through humane and lasting solutions.”

As an example to follow, the High Commissioner highlighted the case of Côte d’Ivoire, where more than 310,000 refugees have voluntarily returned during the last decade. The African nation experienced a harsh conflict that forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee.

“I urge states to look to countries like Côte d’Ivoire, which recognize that stopping war and conflict is the best – and only – antidote to forced displacement. The world has to choose between joining forces to reverse the trend of persecution, violence and wars, or accepting that the legacy of the 21st century will be incessant forced displacement. We know what the correct and sensible option is,” she concluded.

UNHCR/Michael Muller

Actor Ben Stiller, a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, visited refugees in Guatemala in 2018.

No one is safe from becoming a refugee

American actor and director Ben Stiller, a UNHCR goodwill ambassador called for solidarity and support for all the world’s refugees and for people who are forced to flee their homes.

Stiller, who is collecting testimonies from refugees in Poland and Ukraine this week, called for urgent support and funding, not just for those affected by the Ukraine crisis, but for each of the hundred million people around the world who have been forced to flee.

“Protecting people who are forced to flee is a joint responsibility of everyone. We have to remember that this can happen to anyone, anywhere,” she said.

© WFP

The World Food Program (WFP) distributes high-energy biscuits to more than 900 Ethiopian refugees in Sudan who have fled the conflict in the village of Basunga.

WFP announces new cuts in its food rations

The World Food Program (WFP) influenced the economic aspect highlighted by Stiller and warned about imminent cuts that will affect food rations for refugees.

The WFP warned that while humanitarian needs are multiplying around the world, the necessary funds are not being obtained to maintain this pace.

The reduction in rations, which can be as much as half, affects three-quarters of the refugees supported by WFP in East Africa. The most affected people are those living in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda.

Severe financial constraints in West Africa have also forced rations to be severely reduced for refugees living in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger. WFP assists an average of 500,000 refugees in southern Africa each year.

Despite generous donor support, resources remain insufficient to meet the most basic needs of refugee households and Imminent outages anticipated in Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Republic of the Congo, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.

“If urgent new funds are not obtained to support refugees – one of the most vulnerable and forgotten groups in the world – many people who are at risk of dying of hunger will have to pay with their lives,” warned the executive director of the WFP. David Beasley.

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