Hurricane Katrina, thousands of survivors were left without homes. As refugees,
they were taken in by communities across the nation. Disasters cause many people
to leave their homes around the world, but millions of people have to flee their
homes for another reason - violent conflicts cause them to fear for their lives.
50 million people are currently victims of forced displacement. Of those, 14 million
fit the international legal definition of a refugee - people who have left their
country because of fear of persecution based on their political opinion, ethnic
background, religion or nationality.
United Nations set up UNHCR - the UN Refugee Agency in 1951 to help the 1.2 million
Europeans who were left homeless after World War II. Since then the organization
has helped protect 50 million refugees.
Refugee Day is an important opportunity to remind us about the ongoing plight
of millions of refugees around the world.