65 Million People: Displaced But Not Forgotten
Today 1 human in every 113 is a victim of forced displacement. In fact, today’s wars and persecution have driven more people from their homes than at that at any time since WWII. The UN Refugee Agency report, Global Trends, documents how 65.3 million people were displaced at the end of 2015, compared to 59.5 million in 2014. This translates into 24 people abandoning their homes and running for their lives each minute 2015, compared just 6 people in 2005. How many people is this? More than the sum population of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.
“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,” declares Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Why this continued sharp rise in displaced persons? UNHCR cites Somalia and Afghanistan’s 30-40 year of ongoing conflict, as well as more acute wars in Syria, South Sudan, Ukraine and Central African Republic, and even violence in Central America.
What should be our response? First, tract the developments and talk them up with your friends, because more is at stake than football or the White House. Second, consider volunteering your time and talent through any number of fine refugee aid associations, such as the International Refugee Assistance Project and the International Rescue Committee. And join us on March 24-25 for the INMED Humanitarian Health Conference, where you can personally engage leaders who take to heart the admonition of Matthew 25, “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me. Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”