United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has launched a global campaign calling on people all over the world to cover the distance travelled by refugees each year.
- UNHCR traced the journeys of refugees around the world and calculated that collectively, people forced to flee travel approximately two billion kilometres every year to reach the first point of safety.
- In 2016, Syrian refugees travelled more than 240 kilometres to reach Turkey. South Sudanese refugees travelled more than 640 kilometres to reach Kenya and Rohingya refugees in Myanmar travelled approximately 80 kilometres to reach Bangladesh.
- The 2 Billion Kilometres to Safety campaign invites people to act in solidarity and run, walk or cycle to achieve a cumulative total of two billion kilometres.
- The campaign will also encourage people to support refugees by championing individual acts of solidarity. These acts, when taken together, acknowledge the resilience and strength of refugees.
- Refugees are people forced to flee to another country because of war or persecution.
- The majority of refugees stay close to home with most fleeing to neighbouring countries. Only 1% of them are ever resettled in third countries. Turkey hosts the maximum number of refugees followed by Pakistan, Uganda and Lebanon.
- Around the world, less than a third of people forced to flee live in refugee camps.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is a UN Refugee Agency and a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting the rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people.
- It was created in 1950 to help millions of Europeans who had fled or lost their homes.
- It is headquartered at Geneva, Switzerland.
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