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UN chief: Number of displaced people has never been higher

/ 09:02 AM February 24, 2016
Ban Ki-moon

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, right, is greeted by Congo minister of foreign affairs Raymond Tshibanda upon his arrival in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tuesday Feb. 23, 2016. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will meet with Congo government officials and preside at the opening session of the Great Lakes Private Sector Investment Conference held in Kinshasa. AP

KINSHASA, Congo — The number of displaced people around the world has never been higher, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday, urging the international community to improve the way humanitarian assistance and development support is provided.

Ban spoke during a visit to a camp for internally displaced people near Goma in Congo’s eastern North Kivu province. He was expected to meet with President Joseph Kabila on Wednesday.

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“We have 60 million people around the world, that is the largest number of IDPs (internally displaced people) and refugees since the end of the Korean war,” Ban said.

He said visits to such camps remind him of his own experience of internal displacement, “when I was 6 years old in Korea, 1950.” He said the UN at that time stood as a beacon of hope.

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“They supported our security, they supported our textbooks and they gave us water, sanitation, food,” he said.

Chaotic eastern Congo is home to multiple rebel groups, many vying for control of the region’s vast mineral resources.

Ban said he was humbled by the women he met at the camp and said hope must be restored. “We have to do much more to protect human dignity and human rights of women and girls to save them, to protect them from sexual violence,” he said.

The UN chief said that making sure no one is left behind would be a main objective at the first World Humanitarian Summit in Turkey in May.

READ: UN official: World’s displaced population now 60 million

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TAGS: Ban Ki-moon, displaced people, IDP, Internally Displaced People, UN, United Nations
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