The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees–Part of the Solution
Think about this: there are 45 million refugees in the world today; 207 nations each have smaller populations than this figure. Yet refugees, people who have fled terrible conditions in their home countries or who have been forced to leave, have no government.
Or think again: refugees do have a government of sorts–one that is administered by the United Nations and that is responsible for delivering the most basic of services: food, clothing, housing, and medicine. What is this amazing organization? The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
This is what UNHCR does: 1) advocate for the basic rights of refugees; 2) ensure clean water, food, basic housing, and medical care; and 3) seek long-term solutions via repatriation or resettlement. In its efforts, UNHCR has an indispensable partner: the World Food Program. WFP provides food, on average, to 90 million people each year.
The labors of these two organizations rarely make the press, and yet there can be no question that they have eased the suffering and saved the lives of millions over the several decades they have operated. UNHCR and WFP should be incorporated into any future world government or coordinate as part of the essential services it provides. And surely, any world government’s primary goals must include, when possible, the repatriation of all refugees. RT
Photo: Distribution of high energy biscuits and medical supplies in Kibati, Goma, Congo (2008). Author: Julien Harneis, WikiCmns; CC 2.0 Generic.