Belt and Road Initiative helps with refugee work: UNHCR

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BEIJING, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) — China’s Belt and Road Initiative could “definitely” help with global refugee work, said United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi who completed an official visit to China on Saturday.

“Much of what China does through the Belt and Road Initiative converges with what we are doing in refugee-hosting countries, linking humanitarian and development aid to better address long-term problems and seek solutions to refugee crisis,” said Grandi, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

According to UNHCR, 68.5 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide in 2017. Among them, 52 percent were children under 18 years old.

Developing regions hosted 85 percent of the world’s refugees under the UNHCR’s mandate, and the least developed countries provided asylum to a growing proportion, about one-third of the global total, UNHCR data showed.

Solving conflicts is fundamental in refugee work, including peace work and mediation work, but peace has to be followed by development which consolidates peace and helps with education, infrastructure, the environment and others, Grandi told Xinhua in an interview.

Grandi looked at China’s interest to respond to global refugee work as part of a bigger vision of Chinese leadership to use China’s experiences and approaches to foster international cooperation, bring peace and development, and invest in infrastructure projects around the world.

During his three-day trip in Beijing, Grandi met with government officials from related departments and representatives from the Boao Forum for Asia.

Taking office in 2016, Grandi has visited China twice and pledged to come to the country annually to strengthen dialogue and further cooperation.

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