The United Nations recognizes the International Day of Peace on September 21st; which was initially established in 1981. In 2001 the UN General Assembly voted unanimously to designate the day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire. The theme for 2017 is Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.
The aim of the day of peace is to inspire people to help refugees and migrants around the world.
In 2016 there were 65.6 million people forcibly displaced from their homes. Over the past 20 years this number has grown at an alarming rate. This trend seems will likely continue given the current political and environmental instability in the world.
This year, the International Day of Peace comes at a time of great turmoil for many people. Every day brings new news of natural or man made disaster.
Hurricanes and earthquakes destroy homes, businesses, and infrastructure, displacing people. Persecution of Muslims in Myanmar forces people to flee their homes with what they can cary. Political upheaval in response to economic crisis and food shortages in Venezuela is likely to destabilize the region. North Korea continues to antagonize it’s enemies with missile tests and threats. The ongoing crisis in Syria has created a constant stream of people attempting to flee to safety in other countries.
People displaced by conflicts and natural disasters have little choice but to leave their homes and try to start anew elsewhere.
International Day of Peace and Addressing the Refugee Crisis
Accepting refugees and displaced people puts a burden on the nations and communities that welcome them. Concerns about culture clash and strain on the existing systems are pervasive.
This complex global issue does not have a clear solution, but as the number of displaced people continues to grow it is clear that failing to address the situation will have long term negative consequences in our society.
Politically stable countries can provide safety and security for their own people. Keeping people’s existing homes safe and reducing the number of displaced people brings us closer to peace.
Participate in the International Day of Peace
For the people who are already displaced, and for those who will inevitably be displaced, the United Nations calls on its member nations and individuals to do their part to help refugees. By participating in activities and supporting organizations that assist refugees, you can be part of the solution. Displaced persons need nations, communities, and individuals, to welcome them and help them to start new lives. Without habitable homes of their own, refugees have no choice but to reach out and ask for a chance at a new start elsewhere. Answer that call for help and be part of the solution.
Some ways to take action to help:
- Give to a flexible fund to respond to the situation as it evolves.
- To support refugees around the world, donate to the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s Global Refugee Crisis Fund. This fund offers refugees vital immediate assistance as well as longterm support.
- To support a group of people affected by a specific crisis, give to a specialized cause. For example, give to Global Giving’s Syrian Refugee Relief Fund. This fund provides immediate emergency services and longterm infrastructure projects in Syria.
- Get informed before taking action. Search at Giving Compass and learn more about the refugee crisis.
Original Contribution by Clarissa Coburn, Marketing Associate at Giving Tech Labs
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