World Refugee Day 2023

PROSPECTS Partnership unites for World Refugee Day Run and Exhibition

This year to commemorate World Refugee Day, PROSPECTS Partners including the Netherlands, IFC, ILO, UNHCR and UNICEF jointly organized a run and an exhibition to demonstrate power of inclusion of refugees.

Press release | 26 June 2023
Flag off of the World Refugee Day Run ©ILO
CAIRO, (ILONews) - Hundreds gathered early Friday morning to participate in the World Refugee Day Run and Exhibition showing solidarity and hope for the refugees. The run and the exhibition were organized through Partnership for improving prospects for forcibly displaced and host communities (PROSPECTS) programme, a global initiative led by the Netherlands, bringing together the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), to commemorate the World Refugee Day (WRD) observed on 20 June every year.

The run and exhibition aim to raise awareness about the challenges faced by refugees and to promote social inclusion and integration within the hosting community. Refugees often confront significant hurdles in their new surroundings, including language barriers and limited access to resources. World Refugee Day provides a vital platform to acknowledge their struggles and celebrate their accomplishments.
Netherlands Ambassador H.E. Han-Maurits Schaapveld addressing the participants ©ILO

“The Netherlands is keen to support and work together with the Egyptian government in their hospitality in hosting many refugees and vulnerable migrants, through the PROSPECTS Partnership. Through this collaborative and innovative ‘Partnership’ especially in the current challenging times, we hope to contribute to improving the prospects of these groups and the Egyptian population as their host communities and ensure the inclusion of all vulnerable people,” stated H.E. Han-Maurits Schaapveld, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Egypt.

“The World Refugee Day Run and Exhibition serve as a powerful expression of unity and inclusivity," affirmed Mr. Eric Oechslin, Director of the Technical Team of the North African Decent Work and the ILO Country Office of Egypt and Eritrea. He added, “ILO plays a significant role through the PROSPECTS Partnership working with our partners to have a profound impact on the lives of refugees and host communities. By actively engaging in these events, we not only provide unwavering direct support to refugees but also increase awareness regarding the challenges they endure. We are working to establish a path towards a more welcoming and inclusive society that embraces individuals from diverse backgrounds and circumstances. Together, we have the potential to build a better and more inclusive world.”
Glimpses from the run event ©ILO

It is important to mention that Egypt hosts a large number of refugees, and the numbers are steadily increasing as a result of the current unrest in several neighbouring countries. Various United Nations organizations are working with the Egyptian Government to address the challenges facing both refugees and host communities.

"This year, with over 108 million people being forcibly displaced around the world and Egypt generously hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees from conflict in Sudan, we need to offer hope away from home to refugees, to support the communities that host them, to celebrate their contribution to our societies, and what better way to push that message than through the unifying power of sport at today's run," reassured Dr. Hanan Hamdan, Representative of the UNHCR to Egypt and to the League of Arab States.
A refugee participant at the run ©ILO

UNICEF is pleased to take part in this joint run marking World Refugee Day. “As the number of displaced families and children is growing across the globe and in our region, it is critical to ensure their right to lifesaving and essential aid. Together with our development partners, UNICEF will spare no effort to provide all children with fundamental services and protection. No child should bear the brunt of conflict” said Mr. Jeremy Hopkins, UNICEF Representative in Egypt.

“Engaging with refugees and host communities through private sector-led development solutions is an important part of IFC’s work, especially in Africa,” said Cheick-Oumar Sylla, IFC Regional Director for North Africa and Horn of Africa. He added, “IFC is proud to support the World Refugee Day Run to foster the inclusion of refugees and improve living standards for all.”

The World Refugee Day Run and Exhibition served as a reminder of the importance of embracing diversity, promoting social cohesion, and working together towards a more inclusive society. Participants and visitors in this event demonstrated their unwavering support for refugees which contributes to creating a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all.