TEHRAN (defapress) – UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and world leaders hailed the enduring generosity of Iran and Pakistan in hosting Afghans, calling for greater solidarity and support for the refugees.
News ID: 80247
Publish Date: 18February 2020 - 10:21
“Afghanistan and its people cannot be abandoned,” Guterres said on Monday at the Refugee Summit in Islamabad, the official website of the UNHCR reported.
“Now is the time for the international community to act and to deliver,” he added.
“Our aim,” Guterres said, “is to galvanize more resources and investments, widen the circle of partners and forge stronger linkages between humanitarian, development and peace investments.”
Iran and Pakistan have each taken steps to ensure that refugees have access to public schools and government health-care systems. Dating back many years, these initiatives helped light the way for the Global Compact on Refugees, which aims in part to ease the pressures on host countries and enhance refugee self-reliance.
“This is what we are here to mark today,” said Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. “The compassion, the hospitality, the solidarity of the people of the host countries – and the courage and resilience of the Afghan people.”
Grandi and other speakers appealed for more solidarity with Afghan refugees and their hosts.
Four decades of bloodshed have left millions of Afghans in exile, with neighboring Iran and Pakistan showing tremendous generosity and hospitality through the years,
Taking in so many Afghan refugees has put an undeniable strain on host communities in Iran and Pakistan, which are currently home to 90 percent of the 2.7 million Afghans registered as refugees worldwide.