More than $2.2 bln promised for global refugee crisis at UN forum

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The UN refugee agency said on Friday that participants at a major forum had pledged more than $2.2 billion towards a global refugee crisis in a move the United Nations chief said would help “stem the tide of misery”.

Thousands of people from aid agencies, businesses and civil society attended the three-day event in Geneva, Switzerland as the number of displaced people and refugees surpasses a record 114 million people due to conflict, poverty and climate change.

“This forum is helping to stem the tide of misery,” said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in closing remarks after citing humanitarian crises in Myanmar, Yemen, Somalia and Gaza.

“(The pledges) give me hope that we can forge global consensus to address once and for all the great challenges of our time that are fuelling the refugee crisis,” he added.

UNHCR hosts the Global Refugee Forum every four years under a framework to share responsibilities for refugees fairly. Countries also pledged to take in 1 million refugees from third countries by 2030, the UN refugee agency said.

“Participants have demonstrated leadership, vision and creativity in the search for solutions to very complex problems,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said in a statement.

Grandi told Reuters before the event began that he hoped it would help counter a burgeoning Western narrative that casts refugees as a threat.