Since 2001, the UN has held an annual observance every 20 June called “World Refugee Day”. The day is meant to bring public awareness to the difficult situations faced by the millions of refugees scattered across our globe.
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Precursors to World Refugee Day include African Refugee Day, observed since 2000, and World Day of Migrants and Refugees, a Roman Catholic observance still kept every January.
The UN Refugee Agency and numerous governmental and private organisations devoted to assisting refugees come together on World Refugee Day to hold special events that bring awareness to the plight of refugees throughout the world. There are events held in over 100 different countries.
Many flee to other countries or are internally displaced within their own country due to famines, plagues, war, persecution, discrimination, natural disasters like floods and earthquakes, and to escape dire poverty. World Refugee Day is a time when the world focuses on trying to help these people and on reducing the number of people who become refugees in the future.