Wednesday, June 20, 2007

World Refugee Day

Today is World Refugee Day.

Afghans make up the world's largest refugee population, with 2.1 million believed to be living outside their homeland of Afghanistan.

The second-largest population, thanks to their "liberation", are Iraqis. UNHCR estimates 1.9 million Iraqis are displaced internally, and up to 2 million in neighbouring states. In fact, the UNHCR says that the 14% increase in the number of refugees in the past year - the first increase in 5 years - is being "driven by Iraq".

Then there is the situation in Africa. 686,000 Sudanese, 460,000 Somalis and roughly 400,000 people each from DR Congo and Burundi.

Nine million of these wretched people worldwide are children.

The UNHCR World Refugee Day website has some suggestions on how you can help this appalling situation, but there is a very simple way that anyone can help - by supporting a generous refugee admission policy in your own country, by volunteering at a local immigrant-settling agency to act as a friend to a refugee family (in Canada, inquire about the HOST program, offered in a number of cities across the country), or by just smiling at the shy woman in African tribal clothing with her baby in a sling on the bus. The best solution would be to get these people resettled in their own homelands. In the meantime, surely the very least we who have so much can do is be kind to those who have gotten out.


Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home