Due to numerous crises including conflict and violence, famine, natural disaster, and climate change, some 110 million people have been forced to flee their homes, according to Philippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
That’s a staggering number, but not surprising, given the host of conflicts and crises that have arisen in just the past few months. For example, “UN officials describe the situation in Sudan as the world’s fastest-growing displacement crisis,” said Robert Wood, United States Alternative Representative to the UN:
“In Ukraine, more than five million people are now internally displaced as a result of Russia’s full-scale, illegal invasion. And another six million refugees have fled to neighboring countries.
“In Bangladesh, nearly one million Rohingya, many of whom were driven from their homes by Burma’s military in a brutal campaign, are living in refugee camps.
“Since Azerbaijan conducted military operations in Nagorno-Karabakh on September 19, more than 100,000 refugees and displaced persons have fled to neighboring Armenia,” he said. “And in Gaza, Palestinians, who have lived under Hamas’ cruelty for years and years, are suffering through no fault of their own.”
“For our part, the United States is doing everything in our power to address the humanitarian emergency in Gaza,” said Ambassador Wood. “We are the single largest donor to the Palestinian people, having contributed more than one billion U.S. dollars to UNRWA since 2021. And last week, President Biden announced an additional 100 million U.S. dollars in humanitarian assistance for the Palestinian people in Gaza and the West Bank.”
Nonetheless, “With global humanitarian aid budgets struggling to keep pace with global needs,” said Ambassador Wood, we must “look beyond traditional humanitarian donors and organizations to a broader coalition of development agencies, the private sector, and civil society actors so we can respond to humanitarian and refugee crises more sustainably.”
“During this year’s [UN General Assembly] High-Level Week, the United States joined the World Economic Forum in calling on humanitarian and development organizations, donors and host governments, development finance institutions, foundations, investors, and corporations to join forces to mobilize 10 billion U.S. dollars in investment capital,” he said.
“This Call to Action forms the cornerstone of our efforts to innovate to work with new partners, and to leverage diplomacy toward solutions to protracted humanitarian situations,” said Ambassador Wood.
“We can no longer rely on the 20th-century solutions to 21st-century problems. We need new approaches. And I know together we can find them.”