Statement by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on World Refugee Day

United States Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
For Immediate Release
June 20, 2022

Statement by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on World Refugee Day

We are facing an unprecedented global displacement crisis. Record numbers of people are being forced to flee their homes due to war, conflict, disasters, and political instability in every region of the world. According to UNHCR’s most recent Global Report, 108.4 million people were forcibly displaced in 2022, of which 35.3 million were refugees – more than at any other time in our history.

President Putin’s unjustifiable war in Ukraine is primarily responsible for the record-breaking increase in the number of refugees. The destruction of the Kakhovka Dam two weeks ago in Ukraine’s Kherson Region has placed countless more in urgent need.

The recent eruption of fighting in Sudan has upended the lives of the Sudanese people and triggered massive movements of people. Compounding the worsening situation is the growing food insecurity that is affecting millions within East Africa.

Durable solutions, including resettlement to third countries, are key to addressing our shared global challenge of displacement. We are grateful for the generous host countries that are welcoming refugees. In my travels to Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Kenya this year, I had the opportunity to meet with refugees who fled the political turmoil in their countries.

As for the United States, we have welcomed countless refugees for permanent resettlement since 1975. Earlier this year we launched Welcome Corps to enable Americans to sponsor refugees arriving through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and directly support refugee resettlement.

Last week in Rhode Island, I had the opportunity to visit Beautiful Day, a local gourmet food company with a mission that supports resettled refugees by offering training programs and supporting their transition to the job market. During my visit, I heard from refugees from Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Syria, and Ukraine. Hearing their stories gives me great hope for the future of refugees building new lives here in the United States.

The United States is proud to be the largest single provider of humanitarian assistance worldwide. In 2022, the United States contributed more than $17 billion to support the most vulnerable displaced people. These funds provided tens of millions of refugees, internally displaced persons, and people impacted by conflicts with lifesaving support such as food, water, shelter, healthcare, and protection from gender-based violence.

No single country can provide solutions for millions of displaced people on its own. This is a global phenomenon that requires a coordinated global response, and we must do all we can to protect the most vulnerable displaced people with humanitarian needs. We are proud to stand with refugees so that all can find “hope away from home.”