The number of Syrians fleeing the civil war are shocking – more than 5.6 million Syrians have fled the country as refugees, and 6.1 million are displaced within Syria. Half of these people are children.
The UNHCR estimates that there are 65 million people around the world fleeing war, disasters and persecution. It is hard to underestimate the scale of this crisis. Imagine the whole population of the UK on the move, in need of food, water, humanitarian assistance and shelter. This burden falls disproportionately on the poorest countries, with 86% of refugees are hosted in developing nations.
Next month, national leaders will meet in London for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM. I asked the Foreign Secretary whether they will discuss refugees and the refugee crisis.
He said they would. And I will be keeping a close eye on proceedings, working with colleagues in refugee organisations to push for a better global response to this global crisis.
SPEAKER: Thangam Debbonaire.
THANGAM: Thank you Mr Speaker. Can I ask the Foreign Secretary if the matter of refugees and the global refugee crisis will be on the agenda at next month’s Commonwealth meeting?
FOREIGN SECRETARY: We will of course be discussing refugees and the refugee crisis.