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World Refugee Day: Albrecht Boeselager’s statement on the current crisis

On Saturday, June 20, 2015, on the occasion of World Refugee Day, the national associations,rescue corps and volunteers unite to highlight the worldwide drama.

This year, the Sovereign Order of Malta is launching a campaign in the countries where it is present, to raise public awareness of this worldwide drama. All the Order of Malta’s organisations will draw attention to the world refugee problem through social media and information channels.

The number of refugees and displaced persons worldwide has reached levels not recorded since the end of World War II. In Syria, over four years of conflict now mean that a family is forced to leave home every 60 seconds. It is calculated that every 3 seconds a person becomes displaced in some part of the world. 52 million people are in flight from disasters, wars and famine. Half of them are children.

Numbers that reflect a world in flames with burgeoning new crises and old trouble spots flaring up.

“The drama of refugees will not cease over the coming decade. It is no use erecting walls and barriers. Faced with this drama and the desperation of millions of people, we now have to find new humanitarian assistance schemes, new forms of cooperation with the countries of origin and which also take into account the asymmetric wars currently being fought by forces that do not represent states,” the Grand Chancellor of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Albrecht Boeselager, has declared.

Present in 120 countries with 80,000 volunteers, 33 Rescue Corps, a worldwide relief agency – Malteser International, 57 Priories and national Associations and an established diplomatic network with over 100 countries, the Sovereign Order of Malta is on the front line offering assistance to refugees and displaced people, both in the countries involved in the conflicts and in the final destinations of asylum seekers.

The Grand Chancellor of the Sovereign Order of Malta, Albrecht Boeselager

For seven years, teams of doctors, nurses and rescuers have been active on board Italian naval vessels helping to save the migrants attempting to cross the Strait of Sicily on ramshackle boats.

The Order of Malta’s commitment does not end with its emergency and first-aid services but continues in the everyday life of individuals, helping them to integrate and to regain their human dignity. In France and in Germany the Order of Malta runs social assistance programmes for undocumented migrants and support for political asylum applicants. In Germany there are 20 assistance centres for immigrants which it is estimated will provide 300,000 overnight stays in 2015. In addition, the facilities in Italy, Spain, Belgium and Great Britain distributing hot meals to the homeless – many of whom are immigrants – are stepping up their commitment.

Read the full article on the Order of Malta website

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