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UNHCR: 25m refugees travel 2bn kilometres yearly for safety

Cameroonian refugees

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, UNHCR, has said that no fewer than 25 million refugees across the world travel two billion kilometres yearly to get to their first point of safety.

Mr Mulugeta Zewdie, Head of Sub office of UNHCR in Cross River, disclosed this during a one kilometre walk in collaboration with Cross River State Emergency Management Agency and other partners in solidarity with the suffering refugees around the world.

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The walk, which took place on Sunday at Ogoja local government area of Cross River, had the theme “Step with refugees”, while banners with the inscription such as “I stand with refugees” were displayed.

Zewdie said that it was in view of the trekking that UNHCR announced a new global campaign, calling on people all over the world to cover the distance traveled by refugees every year.

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According to him, UNHCR traced the journeys of refugees around the world and calculated that collectively, people forced to flee travel very far every year to reach the first point of safety.

He recalled that in 2016, Kenyan refugees traveled 240 kilometres to reach Turkey, while South Sudan refugees traveled more than 640 kilometres to reach Kenya and Rohingya refuges in Myanmar traveled approximately 80 kilometres to reach Bangladesh.

He explained that the walk was held in Ogoja because the local government hosted the highest number of Cameroonian refugees in Cross River.

NAN reports that the one kilometre walk was part of the activities lined up to celebrate the World Refugees Day billed for June 20. (NAN)

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