Arab League, UNHCR enter into agreement

22 de setembro de 2017

São Paulo – The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the League of Arab States signed on to a memorandum of understanding this Friday (22) to promote international cooperation with an eye to responding more effectively to the needs of refugees in the Arab world.

The agreement was signed by High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and by Arab League secretary-general Ahmed Aboul Gheit in the sidelines of the 72nd UN General Assembly in New York.

The organizations intent to step up humanitarian aid and emergency actions for refugees in the region. According to the UNHCR, over half of the world’s refugee population and some 40% of internally displaced persons are in Arab countries, and roughly half of the UNHCR’s budget is spent in Middle East and North Africa actions. The scenario is mostly a consequence of the conflict in Syria.

A UNHCR statement said both organizations intend to spread awareness of the refugee issue and increase refugee protection in Arab countries. The Arab League has 22 member countries.

“Given the size and scale of forced displacement in the region, this strategic alliance with the Arab League will better enable us, collectively, to respond to the needs of refugees, the internally displaced and stateless populations, while at the same time supporting the governments and societies that generously host them,” a UNHCR press release quoted Grandi as saying.

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum