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DEVELOPMENT REPORT - World Refugee Day

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This is the VOA Special English Development Report.

The United Nations estimates that about twenty-two-million people in the world are refugees. To honor them, the U-N celebrated its first international "World Refugee Day" last month. The day also marked the fiftieth anniversary of an international agreement on the importance of refugees.

The Nineteen-Fifty-One Convention on the Status of Refugees defined the legal rights of refugees. The agreement also established international rules for the treatment of refugees. One-hundred-thirty-nine countries have signed the convention or a similar agreement negotiated in Nineteen-Sixty-Seven.

For World Refugee Day, U-N Secretary General Kofi Annan praised the bravery of past and present refugees. He said refugees are the greatest survivors of our time because they survive even after losing everything but hope.

The U-N headquarters observed World Refugee Day with a ceremony at the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor. Events were also held at nearby Ellis Island. This is where millions of people from other countries arrived in the United States during the first part of the twentieth century.

Jeff Drumta is a policy expert with the United States Committee for Refugees. He says the U-N refugee agency is facing the worst financial crisis in its history. He says the budget for the U-N agency has had a deficit of more than one-hundred-million dollars in each of the past two years. Mister Drumta says the deficit is largely because of reductions in money given by European countries. Refugee camps have been most severely affected by the lack of money. Mister Drumta says food and medical supplies have been reduced and living conditions have worsened.

Another concern is the safety of people living in refugee camps. Bill Frelick is the policy director for the United States Committee for Refugees. He says rebels or militias often attack people seeking safety in refugee camps.

For example, Mister Frelick says about two-million refugees fled from areas of war in Africa last year. Later they experienced violence in refugee camps. He says the safety of humanitarian workers is also an issue. During the past nine years, nearly two-hundred U-N aid workers have been killed.

This VOA Special English Development Report was written by Jill Moss.

网友的学习评论(4条):
作者:lvjiaying1984
Because China is still a poor country, although its economy is developing fast in the past twenty years, it is easy to chance upon refugee children or adults filling the streets, bus stations and train station in the adopted city. They don't have enough to eat, wear poor clothes, when in winter, which cannot provide them with enough heat to prevent them from coldness, and they don't have enough clean water to wash themselves. What they can do every day is to ask the passengers for money,
作者:lvjiaying1984
because this is the only way they can survive especially for the children. However some people say the children who fill the streets, bus stations, train stations are the ones who have been cheated or forced by the adults to ask for money from passengers because people will be prone to give whatever they can provide for the children who are easier to trigger the passengers' emotion to help them. However, whenever I meet some refugee children,
作者:lvjiaying1984
I cannot help giving some money to them, thinking that even if they cannotbe 100 percent true to be refugees, it is possibly that they can be. And there are also some refugees who fill the streets, train stations and bus stations, who suffer from mental illness, making them unable to find their homes where can receive treatment about their illnesses and enjoy a better life. Whenever I meet this kind of persons, I always want to telephone the police to tell them
作者:lvjiaying1984
that there are people suffering from mental illnesses to whom they can offer some help.
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