As global refugee meet begins, rich nations urged to do ‘fair share’

A global refugee summit opens in Geneva Tuesday amid calls for concrete actions to help a surging number of displaced people, and for wealthy nations to shoulder their share of the burden.
The Global Refugee Forum begins exactly a year after the UN General Assembly adopted a framework aimed at creating a more predictable and equitable approach to providing assistance to refugees and host communities.
The meeting is the first of its kind, pooling together heads of state, government ministers but also business leaders, humanitarians and refugees themselves to offer ideas and pledges for more efficient support.
“We are emerging from a decade of displacement during which refugee numbers have surged,” UN refugee chief Filippo Grandi said in a statement.
At the end of 2018, nearly 71 million people were living in forced displacement due to war, violence and persecution, including nearly 26 million people who had fled across borders as refugees.
With a full 80 percent of the world’s refugees living in poor and developing countries, which often feel left to shoulder the heavy economic and societal costs alone, burden-sharing is high on the agenda. The need for the world’s wealthier nations to do their share will likely be hammered home by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkey is the world’s largest refugee host with more than three million refugees on its soil, mainly from Syria.
Erdogan is expected to renew demands for more international support, and could also reiterate his threat to allow millions of Syrian refugees to go to Europe if the international community does not do more.
The UN said it was expecting hundreds of pledges from countries, organisations and businesses, including financial donations, but also technical and material assistance, legal and policy changes meant to help ensure greater inclusion for refugees. It is also hoping for more resettlement spots in third countries for vulnerable people already living as refugees, and moves to ensure safe returns to their places of origin.–DT

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