This week, UNICEF shared a photo of a baby at a one its child-friendly spaces for refugee and migrant children in Serbia.
It’s a powerful reminder of the importance of the United Nations’ humanitarian aid work and what it means for families: a chance to feel safer.
In Europe and around the world, tens of millions of refugees are searching for safety and security after having been forced to flee their homes because of violence, conflict, and persecution. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon movingly spoke of their plight, saying:
“Men, women and children fleeing war and persecution deserve real support, including asylum.
I ask those standing in the way of the rights of refugees to stand in their shoes.
People facing barrel bombs and brutality in their country will continue to seek life in another.
People with few prospects at home will continue to seek opportunity elsewhere.
This is natural. It is what any of us would do for ourselves and for our children.”
Around the world, UN agencies deliver vital aid for refugees, from shelter to food to medicine. They help reunite families, educate children, and provide social and psychological support.
Yet all of the UN’s humanitarian appeals for the financial resources it needs to do its work are underfunded.
You don’t have to be a government leader to help the UN and make a difference for refugees. Here are three ways YOU can help right now:
2. GET EDUCATED: Learn more about refugee issues from the UN Refugee Agency, including the difference between “refugees” and “migrants” and why it matters. You can also read UNHCR’s key guidelines for dealing with the refugee crisis in Europe.
3. RAISE YOUR VOICE: Tell your friends, families, and social networks about what’s happening and the need for help. Raise your voice on social media and let your leaders know that you want action and resources to support refugees.