Cameroon joins the world today to commemorate world refugee day. World Refugee day, observed on June 20 each year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world.
On 4 December 2000, the United Nations General Assembly in Resolution 55/76 decided that, from 2001, 20 June would be celebrated as World Refugee Day.
Since then, United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and countless civic groups around the world host World Refugee Day events in order to draw the public’s attention to the millions of refugees and internally displaced persons worldwide, who have been forced to flee their homes due to war, conflict and persecution.
Ahead of this year’s celebration of the day, a report published by the United Nation refugee agency (UNHCR) disclosed that the number of refugees in the world by the end of 2016 hit a record high of 65.5 million, an increase of 300,000 people over the previous year as a result of persecution, conflict, violence, or human rights violations.
South-Sudan remains the country with the fastest-growing refugee population with 64 per cent increase by mid-2016 from 854,100 to over 1.4 million. About half of this population was children.
In total, about 3.3 million South Sudanese had fled their homes by the end of 2016 including 1.9 million IDPs and 1.4 million refugees in neighbouring countries in what is known as the fastest-growing displacement of people in the world.
South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic and Afghanistan produced 55 per cent of all refugees worldwide.
In Africa, Uganda hosts the highest number of refugees, nearly a million; followed by Ethiopia (791,631); DR Congo (451,956); and Kenya (451,099).
On June 22, Uganda will host the solidarity summit on refugees, jointly organized with the UN Refugee Agency, to raise money to manage and find solutions to the crisis.