World Refugee Day was created by the United Nations on 20 June 2001 celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees. This year marks 20 years of honoring the more than 80 million people around the world who were forced to flee from conflicts, persecution, and war-torn countries. The recognition of refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced persons, stateless persons, and returnees highlights not only the strength of the human spirit, but the necessity for inclusion of displaced persons in the broader community, as shown by this year’s World Refugee Day theme of Inclusion.
Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest annual Global Trends report by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the amount of people fleeing from violence and persecution in 2020 was 82.4 million people, a 4% increase from the record high 79.5 million people recorded in 2019. UNHCR also reported that 42% of all forcibly displaced people are girls and boys who are 18 and under and between 2018 and 2020 approximately 1 million children were born as refugees.
In Yemen, the May 2021 World Food Programme report states that 20.7 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, 4 million people are internally displaced, and 16.2 million people are food insecure.
Humanity for Relief & Development (HRD) has been working throughout the course of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide food relief and other services to people affected by the crisis in Yemen. Our Mercy Bakeries by HRD primarily operate in Ibb, Hodeidah, Taiz, Sana’a, and Rada’a, distributing 1,386,000 pieces of bread to 770 beneficiaries from February 2019 to September 2020. We have also developed Project Food Basket which has distributed 1,619 baskets of non-perishable food as of August 2020 to families of 5-7 people, providing themwith enough food to last for about 2 months. Through these projects, HRD specifically focuses on beneficiaries who are internally displaced persons, households (HHs) without a head, HHs headed-by-a-child, HHs headed-by-a-disable, and HHs without a source of income. More recently, HRD provided 126,000 hot meals (Iftars) during this year’s holy month of Ramadan. With the assistance of our implementing partner, Good Deed Charity, the project reached 4,200 displaced and poor Yemenis in the Sana’a, Al-Baydha, Amran, and Hajjah Governorates.
Our organization is further committed to furthering the work of UNHCR and fostering inclusion for refugees and internally displaced peoples both within Yemen and around the world by spreading our message of hope and perseverance to refugees, beneficiaries of our services, and those acutely impacted by humanitarian crises. As stated by UNHCR in response to World Refugee Day: Together we learn, together we heal, and together we shine.
To find learn more about World Refugee Day, please visit UNHCR’s blog from which showcases stories of refugees from around the world: https://www.unhcr.org/news/latest/2021/6/60ad1e2f4/live-blog-2021-world-refugee-day-stronger-together.html