World Refugee Day 2018

June 20, 2018
Jeni Yaghoubi, Citi Global Branding & Sponsorships

Every year since 2001, the United Nations and more than 100 countries have observed World Refugee Day on June 20th, to raise global public awareness of the daunting obstacles the world's refugees face every year, while also celebrating their courage and strength to persevere in the midst of this ongoing humanitarian crisis. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 68.5 million people have been forcibly displaced around the world – more even than were displaced after the Second World War. The vast majority of those displayed are under 18 years old.

While some of us may feel the impacts of this crisis acutely in our hometowns, and others see it as occurring at a distant remove from their everyday lives, World Refugee Day provides all of us who live in safe and secure homes and regions of the world an opportunity to empathize and reflect on the immense challenges faced by those who have been forcibly displaced from their homes. While the sheer scale of this crisis may seem overwhelming and unsurmountable to many, there are individuals, organizations, and companies in the world standing with refugees and helping to drive change.

World Refugee Day 2018_1Citi's mission of enabling growth and economic progress has prompted us to partner with organizations including the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Girl Rising, a global movement for girls' education, to support skill-building, education and empowerment for marginalized young people to help open doors and build a better tomorrow.

As part of Citi Foundation's Pathways to Progress initiative, we launched a $2 million two-year project with the IRC in Greece, Jordan, and Nigeria that is helping 1,000 young refugees or internally displaced people to gain the skills needed to generate reliable incomes and contribute to their local economies. Citi is a Founding Partner with Girl Rising on their next documentary film, which features a courageous young woman refugee pursuing a good education in the face of nearly overwhelming odds. The film is intended to serve as a megaphone amplifying the too often muted voices of refugees and to help galvanize more extensive and concrete global action.

At its core, World Refugee Day is about recognizing the human beings behind the headlines. At Citi, we invest in the potential of people, and the exponential global growth that happens when young people around the world are empowered to create a brighter future.World Refugee Day 2018_2

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