Live Blog: World Refugee Day marked across Africa as global displacement hits record high.
From East, Central and West Africa, celebrations mark the spirit and courage of the millions of people forced to flee their homes.
These refugee women from Rwanda sell their handmade accessories at a market to celebrate World Refugee Day in Kinshasa, DRC.
© UNHCR/Fabien Faivre
From fashion shows to dance, sports events to walks - millions of people around Africa are taking part in various activities to mark World Refugee Day. Today, as we celebrate the spirit, strength and courage of the millions of women, men and children forced to flee, we also take note of the staggering levels of forced displacement globally - which have continued to rise to record levels.
World Refugee Day falls each year on June 20 and is dedicated to recognize the courage and endurance of those who have been forced to flee from their homes by conflict, war and persecution. Many are taking this opportunity to show their solidarity with refugees by taking part in the ongoing #StepWithRefugees campaign.
Check back here throughout the day for updates from Africa and from around the world.
Kebribeyah camp, Ethiopia
Somali singer Yurub Geeny joined refugees in Kebribeyah camp in the Somali region of Ethiopia to celebrate World Refugee Day. The singer, who's widely loved and celebrated by refugees in the region, was in the camp for a week to mark World Refugee week. She performed for the refugees and danced with them, mentored refugee talents and even took plenty of selfies with them. She also gave a short speech on the dangers of onward movement.
Goudoubo camp, Burkina Faso
The event was marked with various activities including song,dance and tree planting in Goudoubo camp, which hosts mostly Malian refugees.
Rwamwanja settlement, Uganda
UNHCR, the Office of the Prime Minister in Uganda, partner agencies and Ugandans joined refugees to mark World Refugee Day with colourful events in Rwamwanja refugee settlement, in south-western Uganda. Large numbers of refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), South Sudan, Somalia, Burundi and Rwanda attended the event.
Refugees presented various cultural songs and dances, contemporary performances, dramas depicting the lives of refugees and even martial arts such as taekwondo. Hundreds of people participated in solidarity walks and runs, organised by UNHCR partners in line with the #StepWithRefugees campaign.
Conservation of environment was the main theme for the celebrations and participants planted hundreds of trees to show their commitment to environmental protection across Uganda.
Tsore camp, Ethiopia
The camp, in western Ethiopia, reverberated with energy and excitement as the more than 14,000 Sudanese and South Sudanese refugees came out to take part in the #StepWithRefugees march.
In Tsore camp in western Ethiopia, refugees came out in droves to mark #WorldRefugeeDay with a colourful march 🚶🏾♀️🚶🏽♂️@UNHCREthiopia @Kisut_G pic.twitter.com/KtLcczLKOs— UNHCR East, Horn of Africa and Great Lakes (@RefugeesAfrica) June 21, 2019
Juba, South Sudan
The day was marked by colorful festivities in Juba where refugees joined UNHCR staff who took part in a catwalk to exhibit cultural dresses. There were cultural dances and exhibitions by various dance groups and women's groups.
Clowns Without Borders put on a show in Melkadida to mark World Refugee Day. The team of four clowns from Spain performed in front of thousands, doing magic tricks and bringing joy to the audience of children and adults in the camp which hosts more than 200,000 refugees.
Mtendeli camp, Tanzania
Part of the day's festivities in Tanzania's Mtendeli camp included this energetic cultural dance from Burundi. Tanzania hosts over 189,000 refugees, mainly from Burundi.
Try to keep up with these moves! 🤸🏾♂️— UNHCR East, Horn of Africa and Great Lakes (@RefugeesAfrica) June 20, 2019
Incredible #Burundi cultural dance for #WorldRefugeeDay in Mtendeli camp@UNHCRTanzania pic.twitter.com/LVx7UFUVCU
A safe start for over 100 refugees and asylum seekers who were evacuated from Libya to Niger hours before World Refugee Day. They are among more than 1,200 vulnerable people who have been evacuated to safety this year.
#WorldRefugeeDay is starting in #Niamey and for the 131 refugees just evacuated from #Libya it is already a special day. Tonight #Niger shows once again that it stands #WithRefugees and that solidarity is possible! #BePartOfTheSolution pic.twitter.com/ekfOzwmra4— UNHCR Niger (@UNHCRNiger) June 19, 2019
Gearing up for the main event, residents of Ogoja, in Nigeria's Cross River State joined UNHCR to participate in a #StepWithRefugees walk. Some 130 people took part in the walk, clocking in a combined distance of over 100 kilometres in solidarity with the millions who have been forced to flee globally. Cross River State is home to over 36,000 Cameroonian refugees.
In the run up to World Refugee Day, UNHCR organized a #StepWithRefugees walk in solidarity with families forced to flee their homes.The walk was led by the Governor of Sahil, Ahmed Osman Hassan and the Mayor of Berbera, Abdishakur Mahamoud Hassan. Officials from the Somaliland Immigration Department and the Civil Aviation and Airports Authority were also in attendance.
Berbera is a strategic city as it serves as an entry point for refugees and asylum seekers fleeing the war in Yemen. It's also one of the Cities of Light - a growing global network of municipalities that are opting to embrace refugees and the opportunities they bring by ensuring their inclusion in urban society.
The Governor of Sahil and the Mayor of Berbera led a walk in honor of millions of families forced to flee from the homes on 18 June. The walk was organized by @Refugees as part of the ongoing global movement #TakeAStepWithRefugee— UNHCRSomalia (@UNHCRSom) June 19, 2019
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
Urban refugee entrepreneurs set up a vibrant market in downtown Kinshasa to mark the event. They showcased and sold handmade clothes, jewelry, art and food.
Staff in Arua, Northern Uganda, joined refugees and members of the host community to take part in a race dubbed the "Great Refugee Road Run" that included 3, 5 and 10 kilometre races, with nearly 50 participants.
Running to give hope to more than 70 million men and women forced to flee.— UNHCR Uganda (@UNHCRuganda) June 19, 2019
The 2019 Great Refugee Road Run gives refugees hope as they run side by side with their hosts in Arua town, Uganda.
A head of #WorldRefugeeDay, 48 medalist took a #StepWithRefugees. pic.twitter.com/iIokPSqMPp
Children, aged five to 13 years, from Ethiopian and Yemeni refugee and asylum seeker communities had a day of fun painting in Hargeisa.
In Kakuma camp and the adjacent Kalobeyei settlement, home to over 188,000 refugees, World Refugee Day festivities are underway. UNHCR has joined refugees and the host community to mark the day together with music, song and dance.
Today is #WorldRefugeeDay— UNHCR KENYA (@UNHCR_Kenya) June 20, 2019
We go beyond the numbers to celebrate 🙌 #refugees for their courage, determination + resilience ; people with diverse cultures, talents, assets and skills. #StepWithRefugees pic.twitter.com/AIkFwrACtI
Jewi camp, Ethiopia
Refugees and their host community team mates had a friendly match in Jewi camp, in Ethiopia's Gambella region, as part of the day's celebrations to promote peaceful co-existence between the two communities.
In Baidoa, sports brought refugees and humanitarian staff together to mark the day.
In the lead up to #WorldRefugeeDay Day, UNHCR and partners organized two fun games today in Baidoa to engage young people in the community. The activities included a football tournament for boys and a pot breaking competition for girls. #StepWithRefugees pic.twitter.com/Vw6hVZDPX9— UNHCRSomalia (@UNHCRSom) June 19, 2019
Rwamwanja settlement, Uganda
Celebrations are underway in western Uganda where people have come out in their hundreds to march in solidarity with refugees.
#WorldRefugeeDay2019 event starts in Rwamwanja refugee settlement in Uganda with a solidarity march to be followed by tree planting.Salute to the courage & resilience of the 70m men, women & children forced to live away from their home. we stand #WithRefugees today and everyday pic.twitter.com/pTEe4qCwW5— Duniya Aslam Khan (@DuniyaAKhan) June 20, 2019
High Profile Supporter Betty G is marking the day with this powerful reflection on the positive steps that Ethiopia has taken to support refugees and include them into hosting communities.
Happy World Refugee Day to all from @Refugees and our High Profile Supporter @ItsBettyG 🙌— UNHCR Ethiopia (@UNHCREthiopia) June 20, 2019
This year, we highlight the steps taken to include refugees into their host communities and call for more support to the refugee hostning regions. @RefugeesAfrica @BBCAfrica @ebczena pic.twitter.com/x5oNFfirqT
Song and dance filled the air in Kenya's biggest refugee complex, which hosts over 250,000 refugees.
#WorldRefugeeDay in Dadaab, Kenya🇰🇪— Assadullah Nasrullah (@Assadullah_N) June 20, 2019
Singing and dances to stand #WithRefugees and show solidarity with @refugees.#StepWithRefugees #مع_اللاجئين pic.twitter.com/EHmwlxNIU7
"We could all be refugees," Zambian President Edgar Chagwa Lungu took a step with refugees for World Refugee Day. President Lungu, together with UNHCR country staff and government officials covered 10 kilometers to show their solidarity with the campaign.
Zambia hosts more than 49,000 refugees.