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UN to commemorate “World Refugee Day”


UN to commemorate “World Refugee Day”

Rohingya refugees who fled from Myanmar wait to be let through by Bangladeshi border guards after crossing the border in Palang Khali
Photo: Reuters/Damir Sagolj

The UN will commemorate “World Refugee Day” today.

In light of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, the UN calls on member countries to promote greater inclusion of refugees in health systems, schooling and sports, especially among the 99 countries using pandemic border closures to exclude refugees. Despite international travel restrictions, the number of displaced people rose to 82.4 million in the past year—a post-Second World War record.

UN global efforts to reverse that increase are likely to face challenges in the short- to medium-term due to the rise of internally displaced people by 2.3 million in the last year. This is a direct result of new civil conflicts within Ethiopia, Sudan, Sahel countries, Afghanistan, Yemen, and Myanmar, where 200,000 people have been displaced since the February military coup.

Expect the UN High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) to advocate for countries closing their borders to allow refugees to enter through various strategies like medical screenings at borders, temporary quarantine upon arrival, simplified registration procedures and remote interviewing. However, the ongoing pandemic restricting travel is likely to keep the number of resettled refugees low.

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