Human Rights Commissioner Strässer comments on World Refugee Day

20.06.2014 - Press release

On the occasion of World Refugee Day and the publication of the UNHCR annual report on refugees, Christoph Strässer, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, issued the following statement today (20 June 2014):

In view of the alarming number of refugees around the world, the highest ever reported, the international community must further step up its support for people in need who have fled their homes because they fear for their lives. German humanitarian assistance is an important contribution towards alleviating the suffering of displaced persons and refugees.

In 2013 the German Government provided the United Nations, non-governmental organisations and the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement with more than 358 million euros for humanitarian aid projects. A large proportion of these funds was used to help refugees and displaced persons around the world. Furthermore, Germany is and will remain one of the countries that admits the highest number of refugees.

However, the dramatic situation makes clear that the international community must do even more. The German Government will continue its commitment to addressing the needs of refugees and displaced persons.

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) published its “Global Trends” report for 2012 today, to coincide with World Refugee Day. According to the report, the number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people worldwide has, for the first time in the post-war era, exceeded 50 million people. UNHCR reports that this massive increase was driven mainly by the war in Syria, but also by the rising number of conflicts in Africa, particularly in Central Africa and South Sudan.

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