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Refugee Crisis Report Provides Evidence of Global Emergency, HIAS Says

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NEW YORK—The world should be ashamed that more than 65 million people are currently displaced from their homes, without assurances of safety, getting their basic needs met, or having a place they can permanently call home, says HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees. 

HIAS’ call for individuals and government entities to take action to alleviate this crisis comes in response to the UN Refugee Agency’s new report released today, “Global Trends,” which shows that the number of people displaced by war and persecution at the end of 2015 sets a new record for global displacement, surpassing not only the roughly 60 million who were displaced at the end of 2014, but also shattering the previous global record set in the aftermath of World War II.

Mark Hetfield, president and CEO of HIAS, the global Jewish nonprofit that protects refugees, said: 

“As the number of refugees is growing, it’s clear many countries, including our own, are not doing enough to welcome and integrate them so they are no longer refugees. According to UNHCR, almost one percent of the world’s population has been driven from their homes, half of those are children, and half of those are not able to enroll in school. That is an unacceptable failure for the international community, and for all of us.

“In the face of a global crisis, it is critical that the United States demonstrate strong leadership to welcome refugees. We should begin by doubling our resettlement numbers so that we can offer more victims of this terrible crisis every opportunity to start new lives in safety and freedom, and to set an example for the rest of the world. HIAS asks the public to join us in urging our leaders to create the same opportunities this country once offered hundreds of thousands of Jews fleeing persecution.”