© Klaus Bo Christensen
© Klaus Bo Christensen

The world must wake up and face the new reality

June 20 the UN World Refugee Day is marked across the globe. Statistics from UNHCR reveal yet another tragic record as the global number of refugees and displaced persons has reached 65.3 million. Nothing suggests that this negative trend will end within a foreseeable future and the international community must wake up and face this new reality.


Across the globe an increasing number of long-term and complex crises are unfolding and solutions will demand resources and political leadership. So far the response to the increasing number of refugees and displaced has been characterized by a lack of recognition of the extent of the problem and the lack of political will to handle it.

“UN appeals for a number of grave crises are critically underfunded by the international donor countries, Europe responds to an increasing influx of asylum-seekers by imposing restrictions, allowing fundamental rights to erode and by avoiding taking responsibility. More than 90 percent of the refugees and displaced persons are hosted in their own region and in many cases by the poorest and most unstable countries in the world. We simply cannot lean back and expect them to handle this escalating global challenge,” says Secretary General of the Danish Refugee Council, Andreas Kamm.

Today the average time a refugee is displaced is almost 20 years. At the same time new crises develop four times faster than solutions are found. Furthermore the crises are increasingly complex combining armed conflict, persecution, poverty or even famine. These developments are further fueled by population growth and climate change most visible in some of the poorest and most unstable regions of the world.

“There is an obvious and growing gap between the increasing needs and the humanitarian resources in areas of crisis such as Syria, Somalia, Burundi or Afghanistan. However, it is no longer a simple question of crisis management. Danish, European and international leaders must acknowledge that we are facing a new reality – a reality demanding a sustainable, comprehensive and structured response. The tools are at hand – solutions can be identified at the UN level, based on international law and financed in solidarity. What lacks is the political leadership and will to engage,” says Andreas Kamm.        

The Danish Refugee Council assists throughout the circle of displacement and the organization always works to localize new solutions to the complex patterns of displacement.

“We are present in conflict affected countries such as Syria, in countries of transit such as Libya and in receiving countries such as Greece. We deliver emergency relief in some of the most unstable areas across the globe and always provide emergency aid as the first step towards sustainable solutions. We are confronted with the full complexity of the displacement problem and we always search for new strategies in addressing them – we expect the same from Danish, European and international politicians,” says Andreas Kamm.

The Danish Refugee Council delivers emergency relief, demining and sustainable solutions to more than 2.5 million refugees and displaced persons in around 40 countries.

Read the full report here