The number of refugees in the world reaches a peak

(Ottawa) Governments should not forget other crises elsewhere in the world besides the war in Ukraine. This is the message delivered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau during a meeting on Wednesday afternoon.

Posted at 5:32 p.m.
Updated at 7:42 p.m.

Mylene Crete

Mylene Crete
The Press

The number of refugees who have fled Ukraine now stands at 4.3 million, bringing the total number of refugees worldwide to around 95 million, the High Commissioner estimated.

“We are facing great challenges,” he said at a press conference. We may be approaching 100 million uprooted people in the world and we thought it would take years to reach that number or maybe we never would. »


PHOTO ADRIAN WYLD, THE CANADIAN PRESS

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi with Canadian Immigration Minister Sean Fraser

He argued that it is increasingly difficult to mobilize resources, that some crises could be neglected or even forgotten. Beyond Ukraine and Afghanistan, there are other humanitarian crises on the African continent. It will also be necessary to dwell on the “devastating effects of climate change”.

“Climate becomes a cause of conflict,” he explained. He gave the example of communities in Cameroon who are fighting each other for scarce resources, thus creating new refugees.

Immigration Minister Sean Fraser also took part in the meeting, where the situation in Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine were discussed. “Canada is deeply committed to welcoming people from around the world not only to help them, but to grow Canada and enrich our country in countless ways,” said Prime Minister Trudeau.

Canada has received over 112,000 applications for the Canada-Ukraine Emergency Travel Authorization. Some 26,500 applications, or less than 25%, were approved. The Bloc Québécois denounced last week the bureaucracy that Ukrainians who want to take advantage of the program come up against.

“There have never been so many demands on our immigration system in Canada, but I don’t think we can afford not to respond to them,” said Minister Fraser. He gave an example of Canada’s commitment to Afghans who have contributed to the Canadian mission in their country.

The high commissioner praised Canada’s flexible approach, which allows Ukrainians to settle where they already have family and thus help neighboring countries struggling with millions of refugees. He also noted the solidarity shown by countries in responding to the crisis.

“Take Europe, which has always resisted a little bit in welcoming refugees […]he remarked. Europe, in one month, welcomed four million people and established measures that allowed these people to spread across the continent, so it is possible to do this when States work together and develop measures which allow these movements to take place in a legal, orderly and more controlled manner. »

“So I think we’re learning some very important lessons that hopefully will be applied to other situations as well,” he added.

Canada announced Wednesday that it will be the first chair of the Global Alliance for Refugee Labor Mobility, which aims to make labor immigration programs accessible to refugees.

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