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Angelina Jolie calls for immediate solution to global refugee crisis

Angelina Jolie speaks about the plight of refugees as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry listens on World Refugee Day at the State Department in Washington, U.S., June 20, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

UNHCR Special Envoy, Angelina Jolie, has called for immediate action to solve record levels of displacement.

Angelina Jolie calls for immediate solution to global refugee crisis

As part of World Refugee Week, UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie met with Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss the refugee crisis.

Global forced displacement has now hit record highs, with the UNHCR Global Trends report finding that 65.3 million people (one person in every 113) were displaced from their homes by conflict and persecution in 2015.

According to the same report, that’s nearly 24 people each minute, a harrowing figure that is four times higher than the previous decade.

2015 marked the first time in UNHCR history that the threshold of 60 million displaced peoples has been reached.

“More people are being displaced by war and persecution and that’s worrying in itself, but the factors that endanger refugees are multiplying too,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi.

“At sea, a frightening number of refugees and migrants are dying each year; on land, people fleeing war are finding their way blocked by closed borders. Closing borders does not solve the problem.”

This treatment is not helping the situation, but instead, is hindering the process of support for refugees, according to Kerry and Jolie.

Jolie spoke about the importance of showing a united front when it came to ending the refugee crisis, heralding the current mentality as “naive, irresponsible, and dangerous.”

“Today, partly in response to this crisis, we are seeing rising intolerance and xenophobia. But strength lies in mastering and channeling our emotions so that we pursue policies that reduce – not inflame – threats to our security. We need leadership. We need solutions. So that is my ask and my focus today, and I look forward to speaking with you. My hope is that we can use the months before the very welcome summit on refugees hosted by President Obama in September to make progress and not to wait for that to act.”

She continued by asking the audience to take a moment to truly grasp the magnitude of today’s refugee crisis, continuing; “We face a very clear choice: to continue as we are and see displacement and insecurity grow, or to come together with other nations and find a new approach, one that does not focus solely on aid and resettlement but on solution, stability, and returns.”

 

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