Thursday, June 18, 2015

WFP Statement: World Refugee Day - 18 June 2015

 WFP Statement: World Refugee Day - 18 June 2015

ROME, 18 June 2015 / PRN Africa / -- As another year passes we continue to see staggering numbers of men, women and children living far away from home, struggling to feed their children, send them to school, pay medical bills and live a normal, healthy life.

Almost 60 million people are now suffering from forced displacement – that's one in every 122 people on the planet. South Sudan is on the verge of a hunger catastrophe, violence is worsening in Iraq and Syria, and there are new trouble-spots in Yemen and Nigeria. Needs increasingly outpace resources and this poses a moral and financial challenge to the international community.

It is critical to remember that extreme situations produced by conflict and natural disasters not only destroy the lives of those who must flee but also stretch the resources of the communities who accept them. World Refugee Day (20 June) is an important opportunity to remind the world of these complex issues.

In 2014, working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other partners, WFP assisted 6.7 million refugees and 14.8 million internally displaced people around the world.

As the newly displaced join the ranks of those who have been exiled for years, we must ensure they are not forgotten and they do not go hungry‎. With our colleagues at UNHCR, partner organizations and donor governments, we will continue responding in every way we can, helping meet the demand for urgent food assistance and other essential relief.

Last year on a visit to Ethiopia, I met a woman grieving for her youngest child. Her daughter hadn't survived the long journey she made on foot from South Sudan. She had walked for days in an attempt to find safety and food for her family. This mother is not alone. ‎Thousands of women including those from South Sudan, Syria and now Yemen take enormous risk with the goal of protecting and even saving their children. We must do more to prevent this immense human tragedy. We run the risk of losing a generation to conflict and hunger.

SOURCE World Food Programme (WFP)

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