First a little history on World Refugee Day. According to Wikipedia World Refugee Day, held on June 20, celebrates the lives and contributions of refugees everywhere. Established in 2000 by the United Nations General Assembly, World Refugee Day was first celebrated in 2001. The date of June 20 was chosen to coincide with Africa Refugee Day. Each year, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) selects a theme and coordinates events across the globe. This year’s official globe theme 'Help them learn. Help them play'.
Today it is estimated there is a total 20.8 million refugees as well as the numerous Internally Displaced Persons with a surge of 14%. Internally Displaced Persons (IDP’s) are forced to leave their homes because of persecution, but unlike refugees, they often seek sanctuary in more secure parts of their own countries. They, too, are vulnerable to extreme poverty and brutal suppression, but because they have not crossed an international frontier, they are often beyond the reach of international humanitarian assistance. For more information on IDP’s
CNN’s coverage started today on American Morning with several reporters in different locations reporting on the situation around the world. Sanjay Gupta in Washington D.C discussing the Sudan/Darfur refugees. Christiane Amanpour in Jordan. Hala Gorani in Iraq and Kiran Chetry in Washington D.C. talking with First Lady Laura Bush in regards to refugees in Burma and Africa
Christian Amanpour had a special which aired today at noon called World Refugee Day: Passage to Hope. (I unfortunately did not find this out until 5PM this afternoon, hopefully they will re-air the special at some point in time)
Wolf Blitzer had UNICEF Ambassador Lucy Liu on The Situation Room. Some startling facts were brought up during the interview.
Danger in Congo
3.8 millions killed in 1998-2003 civil war
1,200 people still die each day
Half the deaths are children
Since January, 50,000 people are displaced each month
Top Five (5) Refugee Countries
Iraq/Afghanistan – 4.3 Million (combination of the two countries)
Sudan – 680,000
Somalia – 460,00
Congo – 400,000
Top Three (3) Safe Havens Across the Globe
Pakistan – 1,000,000
Iran – 970,000
US – 840,000
Paula Zahn Now did stories on Refugee Sex Slaves in Afghanistan, Culture Shock for Iraqis in Sweden and an Iraqi woman who is facing deportation from the Unites States. The lingering problems refugees still face (disease, etc.)
And of course on Anderson Cooper 360, Anderson had his one-on-one interview with actress and Goodwill Ambassador of the UN Refugee Agency, Angelina Jolie. Anderson also blogged about tonight’s show.
And as promised after all this depressing news on the plight of the world’s refugees, I have some good news to report. According to Inside Cable News, Prime News with Erica Hill will be expanding to two hours starting Monday June 25th. It will run from 5-7 pm ET. Personally I am very excited about this because I can’t get enough of our crazy Ms. Hill!!!!!!!!