July 21, 2024

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The UN High Commissioner calls for a return to peacemaking to stem the flows

The UN High Commissioner calls for a return to peacemaking to stem the flows

Written by Duncan Meriri

NAIROBI (Reuters) – The head of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Tuesday that the world needs to rediscover its ability to bring peace to various flashpoints in order to stem the growing influx of refugees.

There are 110 million displaced people worldwide, up from 103 million last year and half that number a decade ago.

“The UN Security Council, the main international body for peace and security, is broken. They cannot agree on anything,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi told Reuters in the Kenyan capital.

“So we need to restore that leadership, drive peace because that’s the only way we can address these flows.”

A group of diplomats, former statesmen and UN officials began seeking political support for a peacemaking framework earlier this year to shape new standards for conflict resolution.

Among the drivers behind the rising numbers of refugees, including the internally displaced, is the conflict in Sudan, where rival military factions battle each other.

“Today, on World Refugee Day, we have crossed the horrific mark of 500,000 refugees from Sudan,” Grandi said.

Donors pledged $1.5 billion to help Sudanese refugees at a conference on Monday.

The High Commissioner said some of the money would be used to help 100,000 Sudanese refugees in neighboring Chad whose camps are under threat due to the onset of the rainy season.

“It’s a very desperate race against time,” he added.

He called for a more sustainable solution such as a meaningful ceasefire.

“If the fighting does not stop, this is just the beginning. We will unfortunately need more than $1.5 billion,” he said.

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Other reasons for the high number of refugees include conflicts in Ukraine, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan and the Sahel region.

Challenges arising from climate change are also forcing people to relocate, Grandi said, calling for a multilateral approach to addressing the climate crisis.

“The time for country-by-country action is over,” he said.

(Reporting by Duncan Meriri; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)