With the war in Syria in its sixth year, concerns over the plight of Syrian refugees continue to capture the world’s attention. In addition to this great tragedy, their hosts in neighboring countries such as Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey are also struggling to accommodate the needs of so many people.
How we help the forcibly displaced people of the world – not just from Syria, but from Somalia, Afghanistan, and many other countries – is high on the agenda this week, at the IMF-World Bank Group Spring Meetings here in Washington DC.
Among the many events that focus on today’s toughest development challenges, we are looking forward to welcoming global leaders for a discussion on addressing the challenge of forced displacement.
Co-hosted by the World Bank Group and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, we will hear from Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and a panel representing countries from origin to host, including Lebanon, Somalia, United Kingdom, Netherlands and Sweden.
It’s very important for us to remember who we are talking about. I’d like to call your attention to a video about Ammouna and Fayad Selloum, a Syrian family that fled their country and are now living in Lebanon – among over 1 million refugees who are hosted there. They look back on their comfortable life in Syria, and are deeply troubled that they have now become a burden on society – suffering from the loss of their family and home, worried about their children’s education, with no opportunities to make use of their skills. Their Lebanese hosts are suffering too, to cope with the sudden increase of refugees.
The scale and the protracted nature of the forced displacement challenge means that there is an urgent need for collective action. We hope that this discussion will provide an opportunity for us to listen and learn from each other, so that we can work towards a comprehensive and sustained response to the challenge of forced displacement.
The event will be webcast in real time this Friday, April 15, from 11 am to 12:30 pm ET on World Bank Live, open to questions from the online audience. Follow the event on Twitter with #dev4peace. Please join us.
Forced Displacement: A Global Development Challenge
Friday, April 15, 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m
- Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
- Jean-Claude Juncker, President, European Commission
- Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank Group
- Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations
- Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
- Elias Bou Saab, Minister of Education & Higher Education, Lebanon
- David Miliband, President and CEO, International Rescue Committee
- Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever
- Zahra Ali Samantar, Minister of Women and Human Rights, Somalia
- Justine Greening, UK Secretary of State for International Development
- Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, The Netherlands
- Isabella Lövin, Minister for International Development Cooperation, Sweden
Stephen Sackur, Presenter, HARDtalk, BBC World News