Heartbreakingly, we live in a world where violence still forces thousands of families to flee for their lives each day. Violence that many of our countries are participating in, or fuelling. Every minute 20 people must leave everything behind to escape war, persecution or terror. Almost 66 million human beings have been forcibly displaced around the world. Climate change is now adding much more pressure to this. For each half a degree temperature rise, the likelihood of conflict rises 10-20%. With the impacts of climate change, we’re seeing increased food insecurity, water scarcity, job losses, and debt bondage. People need to migrate simply to eat and drink. The UN estimates we may have 200 million climate refugees by 2050 and it may be up to 1 billion. It might be one of us. Last year Lis saw the first climate migrants head for the border in Cambodia under the darkness of moonlight during a horrific drought.__
Today is World Refugee Day, a reminder that we need to find new ways to respond better, starting with empathy and the understanding that we all are where we are due to the luck of our birth lottery. A reminder that if you live in an industrialized country, our wealth largely comes from fossil fuels massively impacting those who have contributed least, and our privilege has been – and continues to be – built on the exploitation of labor and resources in lower-income countries.
We need to be doing this every day, but today is a moment for us all to show support for other humans just like us who are forced to flee, and advocate our governments to do better. If you are able to, send a donation of money, food or resources (give them a call first to see what’s needed) to your local refugee centre or in a country you’re passionate about. If you have services you can donate, that’s extremely helpful also. And please, please vote better. Check who you are voting for and where they stand on refugees. Vote better. We stand #WithRefugees