International Community Honours Refugees on World Refugee Day

International Community Honours Refugees on World Refugee Day

On last Tuesday, June 20, the international community took a collective stand for the global refugee population in honour of the annual World Refugee Day.  This year Filippo Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, released a statement emphasising the importance of lending support to refugees through the inclusion of these persons within the various societies that they have turned to in search of sanctuary. The UNHCR’s appeal to the world comes at a more critical time than ever, as according to the UN Secretary General a record 65.6 million people were “forcibly uprooted from their homes by violence and persecution”. An IDMC report released this year counts a further 12.9 million displacements resulting from storm disaster events in 2016. 

This year, various countries have pledged their support to those who have been forced to leave their homes behind.  The Australian government has promised humanitarian aid to 320,000 Filipinos displaced by conflict within their country as well as $11.4 million USD towards the aid of Afghan refugees. The government of the United Kingdom has similarly created a £75 million fund in efforts to address the Mediterranean migrant crisis. 

Individuals have also taken to lending there support to refugees by engaging with the UNHCR’s stand #WithRefugees campaign.  This is a petition created to draw the attention of global leaders to the plight of refugees, with over 1.5 million signatures collected to date.

In order to address issues surrounding the disasters responsible for the displacement of affected persons, on September 6-7 the Aid and International Development Forum will hold the Global Disaster Relief & Development Summit at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Centre in Washington D.C. The Summit strives to enable quicker and better response during crises and catastrophes by improving effectiveness, cost-efficiency and sustainability of aid operations. This year’s programme will expand its scope beyond disaster relief and will look into emerging global challenges, innovations and opportunities in international aid and development sector.

Speaking in the Best Practice in Logistics and Supplier Management panel at the conference, Anna Spindler, Head of Supply Chain Management Logistics Service at the UNHCR, will discuss how to improve supplier relationship management and long-term partnerships.

The event will also present an unparalleled networking opportunity to engage and collaborate with over 300 high-level participants including senior representatives from UN and government agencies, development banks, national and international NGOs, civil societies, research institutes, the private sector and media. The Director of Individual Assistance at the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency, Christopher Smith, is set to deliver the opening keynote address on Day One of the conference.

Other confirmed speakers include:

  • Kenny Cheung, Chief of Procurement, World Bank

  • Carlos Carrazana, Executive Vice President and COO, Save the Children USA

  • Richard Leach, President and CEO, World Food Program USA

  • Dominic Grace, Director, Sourcing and Operations, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

  • Joseph Burton, Counsellor for Technology and Security Policy, US Department of State

  • Kieth Kall, Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships, World Vision

See the full list of confirmed speaker at our conference website:

See the full agenda here:

To learn more about disaster related issues and take action to make a difference, email Alina O’Keeffe at with a request for participation.

Image Source: UNHCR

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