Tirana – MARRI Regional Centre joined the initiative “Run for Refugees” in the 2018 Tirana’s Half Marathon and 10K, launched by UNHCR in Albania to support refugees by raising awareness on their situation.

The RC Director Sashko Kocev joined the team of over 150 people, among which some refugees and asylum seekers residing in Albania, to participate in the event aimed to show that people who are in danger, even though distant and unfamiliar, deserve to be treated with dignity and humanity.

According to UNHCR, 68.5 million persons worldwide were forcibly displaced from their homes at the end of 2017, among which 25.4 million were refugees, more than half of the refugees worldwide were children under 18 years. Every 2 seconds someone was forced to flee their home in 2017 due to persecution, conflict or violence.  85% of refugees are hosted in developing countries, many of which are desperately poor and receive little support to care for these populations. Contrary to common belief, developed countries are not hosting the largest number of refugees; four out of five refugees remain in countries next door to their own.

Only in Albania, by the end of 2017 there were 4,579 persons under UNHCR’s mandate, including 119 refugees, 44 asylum-seekers, and 4,416 persons at risk of being statelessness.

Further support for refugees can be provided by signing in a global campaign to stand with refugees which 1,956,218 persons worldwide have already signed at  http://www.unhcr.org/withrefugees/petition/

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7 October 2018 – MARRI Regional Centre supports the refugees through UNHCR “Run for Refugees” Initiative