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June 30 2022 11:15 AM ˚
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Why World Refugee Day fills me with hope

Dominik Bartsch
Dominik Bartsch is the UNHCR Jordan Representative. (File photo: Jordan News)
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On Monday, we are celebrating World Refugee Day. For over 20 years, this day has commemorated refugees’ plight and honored them.

Much has happened since the first World Refugee Day celebration in 2001, when the number of displaced persons was less than 20 million. Now, 21 years later, we have reached a staggering milestone, with more than 100 million people forcibly displaced globally. Nearly 1 percent of the world’s population is displaced or, to put it differently, one in every 100 people has fled their home to find safety elsewhere.اضافة اعلان
The hardship refugees have experienced during their flight is beyond imagination. Even after they have found safety, many continue to struggle to resume the life they had known back home, work in their profession, and provide for their families.
Today, we remember the sacrifices refugees have had to make, and we recall the growing number of crises around the world, from Afghanistan to Ukraine, from Congo to Syria, and the devastating impact they continue to inflict. 

The hardship refugees have experienced during their flight is beyond imagination. Even after they have found safety, many continue to struggle to resume the life they had known back home, work in their profession, and provide for their families. 

Here in Jordan, the government and the people have shown remarkable generosity towards refugees, making them feel welcome and extending a helping hand. Many refugees were granted access to health services and work opportunities, and their children were welcomed to join Jordanian schools. In fact, 96 percent of Jordanians say, even today, that they remain supportive of refugees. This positive public sentiment towards refugees helps with their continued acceptance and inclusion.
World Refugee Day is also about our faith in humanity. It is about the courage refugees show in finding new ways and rebuilding their lives away from home. It is about the kindness displayed by the countries generously hosting them, their empathy, and their solidarity.
Eleven years into the crisis in Syria, most refugees in Jordan tell us that they have not given up hope of returning home once conditions will allow them to do so in safety. And until that time comes, we must provide them not only with basic support to survive but also with the opportunity to thrive and to make an even stronger contribution to the economy of Jordan. 

World Refugee Day is also about our faith in humanity. It is about the courage refugees show in finding new ways and rebuilding their lives away from home. It is about the kindness displayed by the countries generously hosting them, their empathy, and their solidarity.  

Over the years, I have met so many refugees in so many countries, often in very difficult situations. And in all that hardship, I have also witnessed the strength and resilience of refugees, their sheer determination to get back on their feet, and their sense of dignity and pride. That is what inspires me; that is what gives me hope.


The writer is the UNHCR Jordan Representative.


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