War remains the dominant cause. There are now more than 45 million refugees and internally displaced people – the highest level in nearly 20 years.
About half of these refugees are children under 18, and a growing number of them are forced to flee on their own, because in the chaos of their flight, fathers, mothers and children sometimes lose track of each other and risk never seeing each other again.
The crisis in Syria is a leading instance of major displacement. More than half of all refugees listed in a new report by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees come from just five war-affected countries: Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq, Syria and Sudan. Major new displacements are also occurring in Mali and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Figures and names give only a glimpse of the tragedy that befalls these families.
There is also a growing and deep imbalance in the burden of hosting refugees, with poor countries taking in the vast majority of the world's uprooted people. Developing countries host 81 per cent of the world's refugees, compared to 70 per cent a decade ago.
June 20 is World Refugee Day. Take a minute to read about them - http://unhcr.org/1family/
Video Partnerships for World Refugee Day
To mark the day we are promoting a series of videos produced in partnership with GoodPlanet's 7 billion Others project, and Fabrica's Live Windows network.
A visionary idea from the photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand, 7 Billion Others is an ongoing project that started in 2003, consisting of over 6,000 interviews filmed in 84 countries to create a portrait of humanity today and show everything that unites us, links us and differentiates us. UNRIC and the 7 Billion Others team have partnered to make the video portraits available in as many languages as possible.
The Macromedia University for Media and Communication (MHMK), in Germany, and resident creatives at Fabrica, Benetton's research centre on communication, produced two clips that are being showcased on the Live Windows network (http://www.unric.org/en/fabrica-unric)
The Brussels based United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe - UNRIC provides information on UN activities to the countries of the region. It also provides liaison with institutions of the European Union in the field of information. Its outreach activities extend to all segments of society and joint campaigns, projects and events are organized with partners including the EU, governments, the media, NGOs, schools and local authorities.
United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe (UNRIC Brussels)
Residence Palace, Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 155, Block C2,7th and 8th floor, Brussels 1040, Belgium
Tel.: +32 2 788 8484 / Fax: 32 2 788 8485