On the occasion of World Refugee Day, France reaffirms its commitment to the millions of people all over the world who have been forced into exile and to the countries and organizations that are helping them.
65.6 million people are currently in situations of forced displacement. 22.5 million of them have been forced leave their countries. This is the highest number of refugees ever recorded.
The countries neighboring the countries at war are on the front line in providing assistance. This is notably the case in the Middle East, where three countries are directly suffering the consequences of the war in Syria and Iraq: Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. This is also the case in Africa where several countries, notably Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya have been hosting several million refugees for several years, responding with sometimes limited resources to the daily challenge of welcoming them in a dignified manner and protecting their rights.
The majority of refugees are fleeing armed conflict, but some are victims of political persecution: journalists, those who are threatened because they are members of a religious or ethnic minority or because of their sexual orientation.
The United Nations provides crucial support to host nations and communities, as well as to people forced to live in exile. To ensure the protection of refugees and the right of asylum, France has a special partnership with the High Commissioner for Refugees, which is operating in increasingly difficult conditions. That is why France has decided to increase its contribution to UN agencies by 100 million euros. For the period of 2016-18, France has also pledged to make donations, particularly in Lebanon, for the education of refugee children. We also provide support for Turkey, within the European framework.
The international community must actively seek a comprehensive solution to this migratory crisis out of a sense of humanity, solidarity and responsibility. We must tackle the causes, not just the consequences. In partnership with the countries of origin and transit countries, we must find common, lasting solutions to this challenge. France will remain committed to strengthening its protection of civilians and ensuring the respect of humanitarian law in armed conflicts.