By Meryem Goktas
ANKARA (AA) – The United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Refugees on Wednesday said that worldwide 68.5 million people have been uprooted, which shows the magnanimity of the humanitarian catastrophe.
“Nine out of 10 are in their own countries or countries next door, and the impact is massive — on refugees themselves, and on the communities that open their doors to them. Now, more than ever, taking care of refugees must be a global — and shared — responsibility. It’s time to do things differently, ” Fillipo Grandi said in a statement marking World Refugee Day.
“Helping refugees rebuild their lives needs all of us — working together so that they can achieve what most of us take for granted — education, a place to live, a job, being part of a community. Over time, the impact is enormous – for refugee families and those who welcome them, ” he said.
“On World Refugee Day, it’s time to recognise their humanity in action — and challenge ourselves, and others, to join them — in receiving and supporting refugees in our schools, neighbourhoods, and workplaces. This is where solidarity starts — with all of us, ” he added.
Grandi said that a new model — based on equity, justice and humanitarian values and standards — is being tested “that shows positive results “.
Speaking about the Global Compact on Refugees — which will be adopted this year — Grandi said it aims to provide countries and communities with more systematic and long-term support “as they take on the job of helping uprooted families “.
He added that refugees themselves need to be also part of these communities.
“Getting laws and policies right is vital. But it’s local people and communities that are on the frontlines when refugees arrive, and whose welcome makes the difference – the difference between rejection and inclusion; between despair and hope; between being left behind and building a future. Sharing responsibility for refugees starts there, ” he said.
“We see this every day – in Beirut, Lebanon; Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh; Yumbe, Uganda; Frankfurt, Germany; Lima, Peru and countless villages, towns and cities around the world. It’s the men, women and children there, the local organisations and faith groups, the teachers, local business people and municipal leaders who make the difference – with humanity, compassion and solidarity, ” he added.
Stating that these communities are often themselves on the margins, Grandi said that when refugees arrive they still share what they have “motivated by compassion and a sense of human dignity “.
He praised people who lend a helping hand to distressed communities.
“By extending a helping hand directly, or working together – as part of a local church or mosque, a school group, sports team, cooperative society, or youth group.Through their generosity, they shine a light on the potential of refugees — and the endless opportunities to help them, ” he said.