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 You are in: Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs > Bureau of Public Affairs: Press Relations Office > Press Releases (Other) > 2003 > June
Press Statement
Philip T. Reeker, Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
June 20, 2003


World Refugee Day

The United States joins the international community in recognizing June 20 as World Refugee Day. This third annual World Refugee Day builds on the decades long tradition of June 20 being celebrated as Africa Refugee Day and extols the welcome given to refugees around the globe. Since World War II, more refugees have found permanent homes in the United States than in any other country. Almost two million have been resettled in the U.S. since 1975. We continue to reach out and admit refugees from around the world even under the most challenging security circumstances.

In 2002, even in the aftermath of the most serious attack on our nation’s security, the number of refugees resettled in the U.S. exceeded the total accepted by all other countries combined.

This year’s World Refugee Day theme -- “Shared Wishes, Shared Dreams: Refugee Youth and Us” -- highlights the many young people who are refugees, who instead of leading normal lives -- going to school, participating in sports, and planning for their future -- are living with uncertain futures after being forced to flee their homes and countries. We join the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in celebrating the resilience and determination of refugee youth and of all refugees throughout the world.

The United States, as a world leader in providing humanitarian aid to refugees across the globe, calls on the international community to continue to support the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to ensure basic needs are met. To date the U.S. has provided over $255 million to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees for fiscal year 2003.

Released on June 20, 2003

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