Every minute, 24 more people

According to the United Nations, 65 million people were forced from their homes last year by violence or persecution. If those people all lived in one country, it would be the 21st most populous country in the world. Still, 65 million is such a large number that it’s hard to picture. David Miliband, president of the International Rescue Committee, tries to put it into perspective:

“Last year, every minute, 24 more people were displaced from their homes by conflict, violence and persecution.”

Sit with that for a minute (and spare a thought for 24 more people displaced while you do). The 65 million number isn’t describing people hunting for greener pastures because they didn’t like where they lived.

It’s World Refugee Day, and while the problem is large, David Miliband says that it is solvable. His TED talk gives us concrete things we can do, and solid reasons for doing them. Take the time to watch it, and then pick the thing you want to do first to make a difference. As Miliband says about our response in his conclusion, “This is about the rescue of us and our values as well as the rescue of them and their lives.”


If you don’t have the 18 minutes right now for the talk, this blog post gives you a list of solutions to consider. You may already have in mind a group you can support financially. Here are links to the International Rescue Committee (I had trouble with the “donate” link at the IRC’s website today, but I’m guessing they’ll have that fixed soon) and the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR as well. Here’s a link to a petition to draw attention to the plight of refugees. Doing something now beats hoping you can do something amazing later.


[Image: cctv-america.com]




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