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Why is today World Refugee Day?

He world refugee day it is an international day designated by the United Nations to honor refugees and displaced people around the world.

Up to date, there are already more than 110 million people all over the planet who have been forced to leave their homes, of which more than 40% are minors, an “inadmissible historical record”, according to a new report released by UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) this week.

It was in 2001, when the General Assembly of the United Nations declared World Refugee Day in order to give visibility to this problem and recognize the strength, courage and resilience of the refugees who lost everything.

Devastating fire at Kutupalong Balukhali refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, leaves 16,000 refugees homeless. Photo: UNHCR – Sahat Zia Hero.

Companies hire refugees

For World Refugee Day 2023, the axes of the commemoration will be solutions for refugees and the power of inclusionwith the aim of showing how and why the world can do more to integrate them, generating hope and action.

For example, about 40 companiesmeeting on Monday in Paris, have pledged to recruit or train refugees. Among them is the American online sales giant Amazon and the luxury hotel chains Hilton and Marriott.

In all, the companies have committed to hiring just over 13,000 new refugee employees over three years in Europe.

Hundreds of refugees from Sudan in the Koufroun camp, Ouaddai region, Chad.  Photo: UNHCR - Colin Delfosse.

Hundreds of refugees from Sudan in the Koufroun camp, Ouaddai region, Chad. Photo: UNHCR – Colin Delfosse.

The pledges, which aim to tackle “labour shortages” as “Europe currently faces its biggest refugee crisis since World War II” with the exodus generated by the conflict in Ukraine, constitute “the largest set of commitments never made by companies to advance the economic integration of refugees,” according to the Tent Partnership for Refugees, an organization founded by Hamdi Ulukaya, a Turkish businessman who has been a refugee in the United States for some time.

Actions in Argentina

Faced with the dramatic reality of legions of refugees and displaced persons, UNHCR Foundation Argentina presented the initiative “100 Million Reasons to Act”with the aim that a million Argentines show your support and raise your voice against this humanitarian catastrophe.

With this action, UNHCR Argentina Foundation seeks to bring together a community of a million blue ponchos that amplify the need to act to put an end to the causes that generate the greatest humanitarian crisis in history.

Blue ponchos, the UNHCR Argentina campaign for refugees

Blue ponchos, the UNHCR Argentina campaign for refugees

What is a blue poncho? Being a Poncho Azul is being a sensitive person and representative of solidarity and empathy with those who have been forced to flee to save their lives and that of their family, UNHCR Argentina explains.

Since 2020, the organization has chosen this legendary symbol that conveys the feeling of national pride of a hospitable citizenry and recognizes the solidarity spirit of Argentines to represent their community of Ponchos Azules, which provides a hand that shelters, embraces and protects the refugee and displaced population.

This year and for the fourth time in a rowBenito Fernández donated the design of the poncho which represents the union of intertwined cultures in a symbolic embrace that identifies all the people who are not indifferent to this humanitarian emergency.

To participate in this initiative, you can go to or on social networks: Instagram @acnurargentina, Facebook Fundación ACNUR Argentina and Twitter @ACNURargentina.

Currently, there are already more than 595,000 Blue Ponchos who support displaced people and refugees and raise their voices for a peaceful, compassionate and sustainable world. A forceful number that accounts for the commitment that exists in the country.

A special broadcast on YouTube

On the occasion of the date, UNHCR premieres this Tuesday a special program to commemorate World Refugee Day.

UNHCR launches this Tuesday a special program to commemorate World Refugee Day.  Photo: @UNHCR / Pablo Padovani

UNHCR launches this Tuesday a special program to commemorate World Refugee Day. Photo: @UNHCR / Pablo Padovani

Is about Radio #WithRefugees, presented by the UN Refugee Agency, which was recorded at the Ex ESMA and is hosted by journalists Joaquín Sánchez Mariño and Leticia Martínez. Also participating are actor and director Osvaldo Laport (UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador), Karmen Issam Sakhr, Horacio Pietragalla Corti, Mayki Gorosito, Aimara Páez and Venezuelan artists Steffania Uttaro and Azula Luzardo.

The program gives a voice to refugee and migrant leaders from different parts of the world: Snyre Jean Charles (Haiti), Okba Aziza (Syria), Mauricio Viloria (Colombia) and Lía Valeri (Venezuela), who share their stories firsthand to approach the reality of tens of millions of affected.

The program will premiere this Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. on the UNHCR YouTube channel, @ACNUR-UNHCR.

Clarín Newsroom with information from ACNUR, ACNUR Argentina and RFI


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