World Raises Voice For World Refugee Day 2013
According to the UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) the number of people currently in situations of displacement has hit 45 million, the highest figure for 14 years.
So today, countries around the world have been highlighting World Refugee Day to draw attention to the increasingly desperate situation faced by displaced people across the globe and to honour the determination of the affected people and those working to help them.
In just one minute, a family can be forced to give up everything. And as part of World Refugee Day this year, the agency has been urging people to take part in ‘What Would You Take?’, asking everyone what they would take if their family had just one minute to flee.
Even Muslim nasheed artist Maher Zain joined in, saying: “I found it very difficult to choose just 1 thing I would take. The whole process of choosing just 1 item really put the plight of refugees in perspective for me. I would take my passport to access other places and hopefully return home one day when the ordeal is over.”
According to UNHCR these figures include 15.4 million internationally displaced refugees and 937,000 asylum seekers, as well as 28.8 million people forced to flee their homes within their own countries.
As many as 55% of these refugees come from only five countries: Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Syria and Sudan. The UNHCR has also mentioned significant new displacement from Mali and Sudan.
UNHCR works to protect and assist those fleeing war and persecution. Since 1950, it has helped tens of millions of people find safety and rebuild their lives.
Images courtesy: UNHCR