On the occasion of World Refugee Day 2019, Malteser International- the Order of Malta worldwide relief agency – is urging the international community to do more in helping developing nations respond to refugee situations. According to the United Nations, 85 percent of the refugees around the world are being hosted by the poorest countries.
“There is a huge imbalance in international support for the world’s displaced people,” says Ingo Radtke, Malteser International’s Secretary General. “Developing countries are shouldering the bulk of the responsibility towards refugees. This places a heavy burden on economies struggling to grow and with few extra resources to support new people arriving. We must do more as a global community to support these countries in order to maintain peaceful coexistence and avoid new crises. Unless the international community takes action, developing countries providing safe refuge to people fleeing war or persecution will struggle to meet this difficult challenge and we will be faced with a more unstable world.”
Providing aid to refugees and displaced people as well as their host countries is a core component of Malteser International’s mission. Uganda, for example, currently hosts around 1.4 million refugees, majority of whom are fleeing the civil war in South Sudan. The focus of Malteser International’s work in the country is in bringing aid to refugees and strengthen the social cohesion between them and local population in the host communities, while creating employment opportunities for all.
The Order of Malta is also working to assist displaced persons and migrants in approximately 30 countries across the globe, and is fighting human trafficking as part of its efforts. “Migrants and refugees – often women and minors – are the first to fall in the hands of unscrupulous traffickers,” says Grand Chancellor, Albrecht Boeselager. “We recently launched a center for female victims of trafficking in Lagos, Nigeria, and we are working to raise awareness on this terrible phenomenon in the international community.”
The Grand Master of the Order of Malta, Fra’ Giacomo Dalla Torre, joined the appeal to the international community, stating: “The Order of Malta strives to help the marginalized and the excluded, regardless of their origin and background. Migrants, refugees, displaced persons are all at the center of the action of our many associations and relief corps in 120 countries”.
On World Refugee Day, held every year on June 20th, the world commemorates the strength, courage and perseverance of millions of refugees.
This article was originally published on www.orderofmalta.int.