The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Filippo Grandi, on Monday appealed to governments across the globe to urgently rededicate themselves to the protection of the increasing number of Refugees in their communities.
Grandi, who made the appeal in a message to mark this year’s World Refugees Day, said that the situation had become what every government should give priority, to save millions of lives.
The message was presented in Lagos on his behalf by the UNHCR Deputy Representative on Protection in Nigeria, Brigitte Mukanga-Eno.
The theme of this year’s World Refugee Day is “UNHCR stands together #WithRefugees”.
“UNHCR sees year 2016 as a watershed moment for the refugee cause.
As wars spiral out of control, we feel that this must be a year to take collective responsibility to end the conflicts that force people to flee.
World leaders can no longer watch passively, as many lives are being needlessly lost,” he said.
Grandi said that it was imperative for governments to look for more humane and dignified means of ensuring that refugees no longer expose themselves to movement risks during conflicts.
According to him, forced displacement has now reached a level unprecedented, since the founding of the UN itself.
Margaret Ukegbu, Zonal Head of the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), said that the theme was an indication of the concern the issue needed.
Ukegbu expressed her organisation’s readiness to continue to work with UNHCR in ensuring the welfare of refugees and internally displaced persons across the country.
The event, which was organised by the UNHCR and the NCFRMI, brought together refugees and asylum seekers from Lagos and Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State.
Refugees from Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad and Guinea took turns to display their cultural dances, recited poems, and exhibited their countries’ traditional products produced in Nigeria.