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World Refugee Day
World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day 2013

(DP-News - UNHCR )

UN- As forced displacement reaches dramatic proportions globally, the UN refugee agency is encouraging and inviting family and friends around the world today to mark a somber World Refugee Day (WRD).



"There are now more than 45 million refugees and internally displaced people – the highest level in nearly 20 years," said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a special message for the day. "Figures give only a glimpse of this enormous human tragedy. Every day, conflict tears apart the lives of thousands of families. They may be forced to leave loved ones behind or become separated in the chaos of war."





Family is the theme of the day this year and this has been very much in the minds of UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres and UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie, who are both in Jordan to draw attention to the suffering of more than 1.6 million Syrian refugees.



Guterres expressed his fears about the situation in a special message. "In all the years I have worked on behalf of refugees, this is the most worrying I have ever witnessed. The needs of these people are overwhelming; their anguish is unbearable," he said. The High Commissioner said he feared "that an entire nation is being left to self-destruct as it empties itself of its people," and he was worried that "with no clear political resolution in sight, this civil war is in real danger of sliding into a regional conflict."



He also called on those with political responsibilities to come together to do all in their power to stop this war.



In troubled Syria, UNHCR and its partners organized arts, sports and social activities today for refugees and host communities in areas like Damascus, Aleppo and Homs.

In neighbouring Iraq, Syrian refugees in and around the northern city of Erbil were set to perform traditional Kurdish songs for an audience at the famous Citadel while refugees in the southern city of Basra will be treated to mobile theatre. Prizes go to the most innovative entrepreneur participating in UNHCR's Business Enterprises Establishment project and to the journalist for the best article on Syrian refugees.



Each year on June 20th the United Nations and countless civic groups around the world celebrate World Refugee Day.



World Refugee Day was established by the UN General Assembly in late 2000 and is marked each year on June 20, with the aim of bringing attention to the plight of the world's forcibly displaced.



World Refugee Day was established by the United Nations to honor the courage, strength and determination of women, men and children who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict and violence. Millions need your help.

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