UN refugee agency's meeting puts spotlight on Africa

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Displaced people living in UNHCR tents at the Bangui Airport, Central African Republic (CAR), where they found shelter from the violence. Photo: UNHCR/S. Phelps

A meeting of the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) is getting underway in Geneva on Monday to look at how to mobilize more international attention and support for displacement situations in Africa.

The two-day meeting is being held at the start of the annual session of UNHCR's 94-member Executive Committee.

Government Ministers and senior representatives of countries hosting some of the continent's largest refugee populations are participating in the meeting.

UNHCR Spokesperson, Adrian Edwards says the meeting is reminding the international community of the risks of continuing to overlook the humanitarian crises in Africa.

“The meeting aims at promoting better international solidarity and burden sharing with the host communities. At the same time, it's expected underscore the urgent need for rallying stronger political and financial support to stop and prevent the conflicts that are, of course, the root cause of most of the displacement. Despite today's major conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere, Africa remains the continent with the highest number of refugees and internally displaced people – a staggering 15 million people. (29")

UNHCR says this number includes nearly 2.5 million people newly displaced during the first six months of 2014, mostly from wars in the Central African Republic, north-eastern Nigeria and South Sudan.

Derrick Mbatha, United Nations

Duration:  1’39″

 

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