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UNHCR chief calls for solidarity with Rohingyas, refugees during Ramadan

  • Published at 04:33 pm May 7th, 2019
web-UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi
File photo: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi meets with Rohingya children taking part in a mental health programme at Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh on Friday, April 26, 2019 UNHCR/Will Swanson

He also lauded individuals who chose courage over divisiveness, compassion over fear

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Filippo Grandi has called for solidarity with millions of forcibly-displaced people worldwide – including over one million Rohingya people living in Bangladesh.

The UNHCR chief shared his warmest wishes with all those observing the holy month of Ramadan with a call for unity in the face of prevailing challenges, reports UNB.

"The holy month of Ramadan conveys a very important message which we must not forget—may what unites us prevail over what divides us," he said in a video message recorded during a visit to the Kutupalong Rohingya camp in Ukhiya, Cox's Bazar.

Over a million Rohingyas currently reside at the camp after having fled their homes—in Myanmar—in search for safety and shelter across the border.

"In a world where we tragically continue to witness unprecedented human suffering and desperation—with almost 70 million people forcibly uprooted from their homes—patience and mercy, the values of Ramadan, are more vital than ever," Grandi said.

The high commissioner said Ramadan provided a time to remember the innocent lives lost in pursuit of safety and asylum, and to show their support to the millions driven from their homes by violence and persecution. 

"Let us honour their resilience and stand in solidarity with them, today, and every day," he added.

Grandi stressed that the holy month had fallen, this year, at a time when the world has witnessed senseless attacks on people as they gathered to worship, as well as mounting xenophobia, and hardening political sentiment towards the oppressed.

"Against this backdrop, I am consistently humbled by the countless displays of human generosity, often demonstrated by those who themselves have little to spare. 

"It is in places like this, here in Cox's Bazar, that we see host communities in Bangladesh demonstrating the very values central to the month of Ramadan—compassion, solidarity, and generosity—day in and day out, to the refugees and the forcibly displaced," Grandi said.

The UN refugee agency chief said he remained inspired by individuals and leaders who chose courage over divisiveness and compassion over fear.

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