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UN Refugee Agency: Join hands with China to help developing countries by Xu Lin,May 07, 2019 Adjust font size:

     Sivanka Dhanapala, Representative of UNHCR China, is interviewed by on April 24, 2019. [Photo by Bai Yunzhi /]

China’s experience is very useful for the countries in the global south, and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is cooperating with China in alleviating the situation of forced displacement around the world, said a top official from UNHCR China on April 24.

Sivanka Dhanapala,Representative of UNHCR China, told that 2019 marks the 40th anniversary of UNHCR’s presence in China, and the two sides have enjoyed a close partnership over the years. As China continues to take a more prominent position on the international stage, the country has been extremely supportive in dealing with the issue of global forced displacement.

“Our biggest focus has been how we deepen and expand the relationship with China as we deal with this global challenge of forced displacement,” Dhanapala said. “There are almost 70 million people in the world today who have been forced to leave their homes. It is a global responsibility to address this situation. China and UNHCR, together with the international communities, must work together on this issue.”

According to UN statistics, 85 percent of the world’s refugee population are livingin developing countries. “Those countries need our help,” Dhanapala stressed.

“The Belt and Road Initiative passes through a number of countries that are sources of refugees because of their own instability and due to conflict in those countries. It also passes through refugee-hosting countries. The projects and the programs generated by the Belt and Road Initiative could help to address the root causes of displacement and ease the pressure that both sets of countries are facing,” he continued.

Talking about China’s innovative approaches to poverty reduction, Dhanapala said, “I think I am not the first to say that this is a dramatic advance in development, addressing poverty. The China case is amazing, and if you look back through human history, it is an unprecedented achievement. There are certainly a lot of things that the world can learn from this experience and I think China can play a key role in trying to assist other countries in the global south, not only in emerging from poverty, but also in achieving stability, thereby reducing forced displacement.”

Working closely with China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs,the Ministry of Emergency Management, and China International Development Cooperation Agency, UNHCR hopes to further expand its cooperation with China to help more people in developing countries and the rest of the world, Dhanapala added.

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