BALTIMORE, MD – Global humanitarian and development organization, World Relief pays tribute to World Refugee Day through multiple, coordinated advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill. First Designated by the United Nations on June 20, 2001, World Refugee Day helps shine a light on the current crisis—which has reached its highest point in decades—as well as honoring the strength, courage, contributions and cultures of refugees all-around the world.
According to the UNHRC annual Global Trend Report, an unprecedented 65.6 million people were displaced either by conflict or persecution at the end of 2016, a figure that U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi says is, “unacceptable” by any measure.
In fact, 2016 marks the fifth consecutive year where the total number of displaced persons has increased by the millions. 34 thousand people are displaced every day around the world, or as many as three individuals every minute.
“When you see that the total displaced peoples figure has reached 65.6 million, it’s difficult for the human mind to grasp just how large and how terrible that truly is,” said World Relief President Scott Arbeiter. “That’s larger than the U.K.’s total population. It should serve as a powerful reminder of how much work remains for us all to do, in solidarity, to address one of the worst humanitarian crises the world has ever seen.”
One way that World Relief is encouraging the public to get involved is through the Stand with Refugee Campaign. In an effort to encourage congressional support for refugee resettlement efforts in the U.S., the Stand With Refugees Campaign was conducted from June 12-16th and invited thousands of ordinary Americans to call their members of Congress and voice their support for refugees. In the end, many thousands of phone calls were made representing nearly every state in America and hundreds of congressional districts.
“We know that the problem is too big for any one organization or country to handle by themselves,” said Jenny Yang, Senior Vice President of Advocacy & Policy at World Relief. “But when larger countries with more capacity to help such as the United States, take a step back, it sends the wrong signal. Through the call-in campaign, the people of America sent a powerful signal to our leaders in Washington that we stand with refugees. Our nation has a long history of leading in this area and we should maintain that position. Together, with the rest of the world, we can help save the lives and futures of thousands of innocent, displaced peoples, and World Relief stands ready to do our part.”
World Relief will also bring together a group of influential pastors from seven states to Capitol Hill on June 20, to meet with their legislators. Following a briefing and advocacy training breakfast, attending pastors will meet with various Congressional leaders, the State Department and the White House to discuss the challenges and strategies surrounding the current refugee crisis and U.S. policy.
World Relief is a global humanitarian relief and development organization that stands with the vulnerable and partners with local churches to end the cycle of suffering, transform lives and build sustainable communities. With over 70 years of experience, World Relief works in 20 countries worldwide through disaster response, health and child development, economic development and peacebuilding and has offices in the United States that specialize in refugee and immigration services.