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CRS, other NGOs pledge total of $1.2 billion to help world's refugees


  • U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the U.N. General Assembly Sept. 20 in New York City. Speaking for the last time at the United Nations as president, Obama said that while the world has become safer and more prosperous, nations are struggling with a devastating refugee crisis, terrorism and a breakdown in basic order in the Middle East. (CNS photo/Mike Segar, Reuters)
  • U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the U.N. General Assembly Sept. 20 in New York City. Speaking for the last time at the United Nations as president, Obama said that while the world has become safer and more prosperous, nations are struggling with a devastating refugee crisis, terrorism and a breakdown in basic order in the Middle East. (CNS photo/Mike Segar, Reuters)

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WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Eighty-six percent of the world's refugees are living in developing countries and it is particularly hard for those countries to meet refugees' needs and provide them an education and a livelihood, according to a senior policy and legislative specialist at Catholic Relief Services.

Overall, 65 million people are displaced worldwide, the highest number since World War II, according to the U.N. High Commissioner of Refugees.

"After World War II, many of the refugees at that time were living in camps for a certain amount of time, then would be resettled or helped to be repatriated" in their home country, Jill Marie told Catholic News Service.

Today, she said, it is not unusual for refugees to live 20 years in a country that is not their own, she said, citing the 5 million Afghan refugees who have lived in Pakistan for "a very long time," many for almost their entire lives.

Millions of Afghans have fled their homeland during waves of civil war spanning more than three decades.

Marie made the comments to CNS Sept. 16 in advance of the special summit that U.S. President Barrack Obama convened Sept. 20 at the United Nations to address the global refugee crisis.

Before the summit, CRS, the U.S. bishops' overseas relief and development agency, joined 30 other nongovernmental organizations in pledging a total of $1.2 billion to help address the refugee crisis over a three-year period.

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