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World Refugee Day 2024: Solidarity with Refugees

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On this World Refugee Day, UNHCR, United Nations Refugee Agency, along with refugees, the UN System, governmental, public, and private sector partners, and celebrity supporters in South Africa, joined the global community in honouring the resilience and courage of millions of forcibly displaced individuals around the world. From conflict zones to climate shocks, millions of men, women and children have fled their homelands in search of safety and hope.

At the end of 2023, an estimated 117.3 million people worldwide were forcibly displaced due to persecution, violence, human rights violations, and events seriously disturbing the public order. Based on operational data, UNHCR estimates that forced displacement has continued to increase in the first four months of 2024 and by the end of April 2024 is likely to have exceeded 120 million.

South Africa is a generous host to 154,056 refugees and asylum seekers, principally from, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Somalia and Ethiopia.

“In show of solidarity, we gathered today along with government officials and various UNHCR partners, to reaffirm our collective commitment to continue supporting refugees and host communities with all means possible,” said Ms. Monique Ekoko, UNHCR’s Representative to the Southern Africa Multi Country Office. “South Africa is a haven for many seeking refuge, and as part of World Refugee Day 2024, we celebrate their strengths and achievements while acknowledging the challenges they face. On this occasion, I would like to reiterate my sincere appreciation to the South African government for welcoming refugees and creating opportunities and solutions for them to thrive alongside local communities,” she added.

As part of World Refugee Day celebrations in South Africa, UNHCR has showcased #Fantasy4Change (F4C), an anticipated online initiative that gamifies giving to support forcibly displaced communities across Africa. F4C is not just a fantasy sports platform but instead, an innovative conduit to support one of the most pressing humanitarian causes of our times. F4C will be launched later in 2024, giving South African fantasy sports enthusiasts the opportunity to play while supporting refugees and communities hosting them. To sign up to the platform, visit www.fantasyforchange.org.

World Refugee Day is an international day designated by the United Nations to honour refugees around the globe. It falls each year on 20 June and celebrates the strength and courage of people who have been forced to flee their home country to escape conflict or persecution. This year, World Refugee Day focuses on solidarity with refugees – for a world where refugees are welcomed.

Solidarity with people forced to flee takes various forms, including finding solutions to their plight – ending conflicts so they can return home in safety, ensuring they have opportunities to thrive in the communities that have welcomed them, and providing countries with the resources they need to include and support refugees.

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