#WithRefugees – How to support Refugees

By Cynthia Sularz

June 20, 2018

There are over 22.5 million refugees worldwide.

Of those 22.5 million, over half are below the age of 18.

Every moment, raises the risk of displacement for families around the globe. It is estimated by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), that nearly 20 people are forcibly displaced every minute. Violence, continues to be the main driver for families to flee their lives. It is within this violence, that mothers and children are the most vulnerable.

Portrait of Lal Moti 35 and Osmaitara 3 months in Kutupalong Refugee Camp in Bangladesh. Photo Credit: UNHCR/Roger Arnold

 
“For a world in conflict, what is needed is determination and courage, not fear.” – UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi

On World Refugee Day, June 20, we ask that you stand #WithRefugees. We ask you to stand alongside your fellow global citizen and acknowledge the strength, courage, and perseverance of those escaping war, famine, and natural disasters.

The #withrefugees campaign was launched in 2016. It aims to strengthen the global support for refugees at the times of historic displacement. A major goal of the campaign was to showcase that both refugees, and internally displaced people (IDPS) are not so different than one’s own family. They are ordinary people caught in extraordinary circumstances. 

Turkey. 7 year old Syrian refugee Vahide and her sister Busra. Credit: UNHCR/Emrah Gurel

As of 2016, Syrians continue to be the largest forcibly displaced population, with 12 million people.  Because of the sheer numbers generated by the conflict in Syria, many other emergencies have not gained the proper support needed. For example the war in South Sudan has resulted in a 85 percent increase in refugees in 2016. This trend has been similar in conflicts such as Afghanistan, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Ukraine, and Yemen.

“…the protection of refugees is not only the responsibility of neighbouring States of a crisis; it is a collective responsibility of the international community.” Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General

UNHCR works to provide critical emergency assistance in the form of clean water, sanitation and healthcare, as well as shelter, blankets, household goods and sometimes food. In some circumstances UNHCR arrange transport and assistance packages for people who return home, and income-generating projects for those who resettle. These income-generating projects focus on teaching practical skills which can be adapted and used in multiple locations. This ensures that refugees are given the tools they need to rebuild their lives, no matter the length of their displacement. This helps to ensure that refugees can provide for themselves and their families.

This World Refugee Day, is your chance to support UNHCR programming and encourage your local government to do more to empower refugees.

Take Action Challenge:

  • Tell the world you stand #WithRefugees today! Support the stories of  UNHCR @Refugees on twitter through liking and sharing.
  • Sign the #WithRefugees petition today & encourage your government to take action!   
  • Visit the Campaign solidarity map to see how people around the world are standing #WithRefugees

 

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