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Red Cross urges action on refugee quota on World Refugee Day

New Zealand Red Cross urges action on refugee quota on World Refugee Day, 20 June

This World Refugee Day, New Zealand Red Cross is acknowledging the resilience of the 22.5 million refugees across the world. Of those, less than 1% will ever be resettled in a safe country. On top of this, the average time a refugee spends living in a camp is 18 years.

In the face of overwhelming odds and a lack of solutions in the foreseeable future, even resilience can run out.

With no end in sight for protracted conflicts, it is likely that the number of refugees globally will only increase in the coming year, making global solidarity and action in addressing the humanitarian needs more important than ever.

“We must not forget that refugee resettlement programmes are about providing international protection for some the world’s most vulnerable people,” says Rachel O’Connor, New Zealand Red Cross National Migration Programmes Manager.

“Any delay in receiving protection through resettlement can have serious humanitarian consequences. We’re pleased that the New Zealand Government has committed to increasing the refugee quota to 1500 people a year. New Zealand Red Cross urges swift implementation of this increase and stands ready to support as soon as it happens.”

Support for refugee resettlement remains high in Kiwi communities. This includes in Invercargill where Southlanders have come together to provide a warm welcome to former refugees arriving in New Zealand’s seventh settlement city.

“It’s been wonderful to see the number of people keen to volunteer and support our newest Kiwis, both in Invercargill and across Aotearoa,” says Ms O’Connor.

“For us, World Refugee Day is as much about celebrating the diverse contribution former refugees make to New Zealand, as it is about recognising the situation of refugees across the world. Our country has been enriched through former refugees thanks to the music, food, dance, knowledge, courage, tenacity, skills and resilience they bring with them.”

To find out more about refugees in New Zealand and how Red Cross supports their resettlement, please visit www.redcross.org.nz/refugee

World Refugee Day is an international United Nations day of observance on 20 June each year dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees throughout the world.

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