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Environment, extreme poverty causing refugee problems - UN's Guterres

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Environment, extreme poverty causing refugee problems - UN's
Guterres
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+IMPRESS+20100426STO73424+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN
Around the world 10 million people live in refugee camps - more than the
population of several small European Union countries combined. António
Guterres is the UN's High Commissioner for refugees and heads an
organisation looking after displaced and stateless people from Afghanistan,
Pakistan, Palestine, DR Congo and Iraq amongst others. We interviewed him
just after he spoke to Members of Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee on 28
April.
As well as traditional threats such as war and violence he also warned about the problems caused
by environmental degradation and extreme poverty.
Your first 5-year term as High Commissioner is coming to its end. How have refugee trends
evolved during your mandate?
At the beginning we witnessed a steady decrease in the number of refugees each year, but in the
last two years the resilience of conflict and the return of insecurity to areas where peace had been
established is creating a small increase in the number of refugees and internally displaced people.
Unfortunately, last year the number of people that we helped to go back home voluntarily and in
safety and dignity dramatically decreased, especially because of the situation in Afghanistan,
Southern Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Conflicts and persecution have uprooted 40 million people; over 10 million live in refugee
camps, often for years. What are the effects of long term displacement, and is there a
"durable" solution to the plight of refugees and the displaced?
There has been a meaningful increase in the number of resettlement opportunities from countries
of first asylum to countries in the developed world. A European resettlement programme is being
established; we strongly support that. We are witnessing more and more countries that are
accepting local integration - Tanzania just granted Tanzanian nationality to another 60 000
Burundians.
Unfortunately the number of people that we were able to help to go home in safety and dignity
has decreased. This is making some of the refugee situations more protracted, and creating
enormous problems, especially when people live in camps. To live 10, 20 years sometimes with
restrictions of movement, with very limited resources, no access to secondary
education...generates a level of suffering that should put a lot of pressure on the int...
Environment, extreme poverty causing refugee problems - UN's
Guterres
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+IM-
PRESS+20100426STO73424+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN
Around the world 10 million people live in refugee camps - more than the
population of several small European Union countries combined. António
Guterres is the UN's High Commissioner for refugees and heads an
organisation looking after displaced and stateless people from Afghanistan,
Pakistan, Palestine, DR Congo and Iraq amongst others. We interviewed him
just after he spoke to Members of Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee on 28
April.
As well as traditional threats such as war and violence he also warned about the problems caused
by environmental degradation and extreme poverty.
Your first 5-year term as High Commissioner is coming to its end. How have refugee trends
evolved during your mandate?
At the beginning we witnessed a steady decrease in the number of refugees each year, but in the
last two years the resilience of conflict and the return of insecurity to areas where peace had been
established is creating a small increase in the number of refugees and internally displaced people.
Unfortunately, last year the number of people that we helped to go back home voluntarily and in
safety and dignity dramatically decreased, especially because of the situation in Afghanistan,
Southern Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Conflicts and persecution have uprooted 40 million people; over 10 million live in refugee
camps, often for years. What are the effects of long term displacement, and is there a
"durable" solution to the plight of refugees and the displaced?
There has been a meaningful increase in the number of resettlement opportunities from countries
of first asylum to countries in the developed world. A European resettlement programme is being
established; we strongly support that. We are witnessing more and more countries that are
accepting local integration - Tanzania just granted Tanzanian nationality to another 60 000
Burundians.
Unfortunately the number of people that we were able to help to go home in safety and dignity
has decreased. This is making some of the refugee situations more protracted, and creating
enormous problems, especially when people live in camps. To live 10, 20 years sometimes with
restrictions of movement, with very limited resources, no access to secondary
education...generates a level of suffering that should put a lot of pressure on the international
community for more solutions.
During times of economic hardship, people's attitudes tend to harden. At the same time
conflicts and climate change force more and more people to flee. How do you see this
equation for refugee protection?
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