New York, June 20, 2023 – SIMN wishes to take this opportunity, the commemoration of the World Refugee Day, to express our deepest respect and solidarity with all those who have been forcibly displaced, particularly the people who have stayed at any of the Scalabrinian centers in the world. Their courage and resilience before so many adversities is humbling and a big lesson for all the Scalabrinian teams on the ground, and a reason to reinvigorate our efforts to support them.
Unfortunately, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), to this date, forcibly displaced people amount more than 110 million people worldwide, including refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced persons. This incremental trend –60 million increase in the last 10 years— should have made sound the alarm bells worldwide because these numbers are historic, as well as the numbers of people who have died in the recent years in their attempt to reach safer and more promising lands, as most recently happened in Greek waters, with a horrifying shipwreck that might have cost the lives of hundreds of people.
Because of this, SIMN wishes to call all the relevant actors who are in position of responsibility to address the root causes of all humanitarian crises in order to tackle the existing ones and to prevent new ones from emerging, and to do so placing in the center of any response or policy not economic or geopolitical interests, but people in need who did not expect to be in the middle of such crises. Let´s remember that no one is out of risk of becoming a forcibly displaced person.
Finally, as a faith-based organization, we call for the solidarity of people of good faith to help and provide assistance to those who have lost everything they had (their land, properties, family and friends) in their desperate attempt to keep their lives and the possibility to rebuild them somewhere else. We remind you that your generosity can change the lives of those who arrive and your own lives, by finding in the completely unknown, a neighbor and a friend, in a mutually enriching act of hospitality and solidarity, an opportunity we call you not to waste.