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Refugee issue a global humanitarian challenge
The shocking reality as countries mark the World Refugee Day on Wednesday is that a record 68.5 million people have been forced to flee their homes due to war, violence and persecution, notably in places like Myanmar and Syria.

This hits at the core of collective human conscience and raises questions about what the international community is doing to address the issue.

The number of people forced to flee their homes last year alone rose by nearly three million, as per the head of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR), Filippo Grandi, who has highlighted the fact that the world’s displacement hotspots “are becoming hotter.”

The current figure is equivalent to the entire population of Thailand, and the number of people forcibly displaced equates to one in every 110 persons worldwide. Top of the list is Syria, where seven years of brutal fighting have forced more than 6 million people to seek shelter abroad, followed by Afghanistan (2.6 million) and South Sudan (2.4 million).

While every day, 34,000 people are forcibly displaced as a result of conflict or persecution, most of them do not have access to basic rights of healthcare and education, and many of them starve.

The UAE, on its part, deserves praise for always doing its best to support refugees without discrimination.

Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of The Big Heart Foundation, (TBHF) Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, has rightly called on world governments and international organisations to put the worldwide refugee crisis at the top of their agendas.

Ensuring a better future for refugees and protecting their human dignity is a process that begins with addressing the root causes of forced displacement and the circumstances that led to it, as she points out.

The decision of the UAE Cabinet, led by Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to grant one-year residency permits to the citizens of countries facing wars and disaster is the latest among several humanitarian gestures made by the country. 

It must not be forgotten that the refugee issue is a global humanitarian challenge that must be collectively addressed due to its significant impact on global stability and peace. The future of entire generations of children and young people in countries affected by conflicts and unrest are at stake.

The Gulf Today

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