Recently, international attention has been focused on the impact of the Syrian civil war, which has driven over 2 million individuals out of the country, turning them into refugees overnight. This vast relocation puts a strain on the resources of neighboring countries and threatens to spread instability throughout a region that has been dealing with refugee crises for decades. In addition to those who have fled to other countries, hundreds of thousands of civilians are also displaced within Syria.
While the situation in Syria has grabbed headlines, a longer term refugee crisis continues. For over 60 years, Palestinian refugees have lived across the region, receiving services including education, health care, relief and social services, food assistance and other forms of emergency assistance from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). Many of these individuals were seeking refuge in Syria and have now been forced to move once again.
What is the impact of the Syria crisis on the situation of Palestine Refugees and their unresolved status? Are there lessons to be learned from the ongoing plight of Palestinian refugees in the international community's response to the Syrian crisis? Filippo Grandi will discuss UNRWA's efforts in the region, the displacement caused by the Syrian civil war and long-term issues and instability in the region.
Filippo Grandi is the Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.
For more information about this event, visit: http://www.worldaffairs.org/events/2013/seeking-refuge.html