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Jun 21 2013

UNHCR lauds KSA for aid to refugees

Friday 21 June 2013

The regional office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) yesterday organized a photo exhibition focusing on the Kingdom's support for the UNHCR's efforts to help refugees and the displaced people across the world. The event marking World Refugees Day was held at the Kingdom Commercial Center in Riyadh and entitled "Family." It gave an insight into the humanitarian activities of the Kingdom, other Gulf countries and UNHCR. The relief assistance included shelters, food and medical care for refugees and the displaced.

The event also described in pictures the plight of refugees in the Arab and Muslim world, particularly the situation in Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Mali and Myanmar. "Forty-five million refugees in the world include 28 million displaced, one million asylum seekers, in addition to 16 million refugees," deputy regional representative of UNHCR for refugee affairs in the Gulf Cooperation Council, Nabil Othman, said in a statement yesterday. He said that the Syrian crisis has created more than 1.6 million refugees who are camping in Jordan, Iraq, Turkey, Egypt and Lebanon. He said the figure may soon cross three million. He said the commission has raised $ 3 billion to aid refugees.

The exhibition was organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Information and the Saudi Press Agency. World Refugee Day was established by the UN General Assembly in late 2000 and is marked each year on June 20, with the aim of drawing attention to the plight of the world's forcibly displaced people. Salma Al-Qudwa, external relations director of the UNHCR, said: "The expo showcased 40 photos representing the relief efforts of the Kingdom to help refugees."

It also displayed books and fliers about the rights of refugees, international regulations governing refugees, the UN Charter of 1951 and Refugees Protocol of 1967. A publication of the UNHCR showed that the Saudi Development Fund donated $ 1.89 million to provide shelters for the Rohingya Muslims forced to flee their homes in Rakhine state in Myanmar. The UNHCR is also working closely with the Kingdom's national campaign to help the Syrian refugees. The campaign donated $ 2.6 million for the needy in Syria this year apart from giving financial assistance for prefabricated shelters for refugees.

© Arab News 2013

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