Refugees in Muslim countries on the Rise
Jeddah: On June 20, many countries mark U.N. World Refugee Day with events to raise awareness about the situation of refugees. In recent years, Muslim countries have seen a huge growth in refugees. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), António Guterres, recently stated that “in 2011, the 57 Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) states, hosted 50 per cent of the people who are of concern to UNHCR, some 17.6 million in total. Several representatives of OIC member states gathered at a conference focusing on refugees in the Muslim world in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan last month, to address this issue in ways that can promote stability and peace. This issue is crucial as it may be years, before those who are currently refugees canreturn home. Khalid Koser, an expert at the Washington, D.C.- based Brookings Institution think tank, estimates there have been approximately two million refugees who have left countries affected by the Arab Spring.