Conflict and persecution have forced more than 80 million people around the world to flee their homes. This includes some 179,000 refugees and asylum-seekers in Malaysia. 

This World Refugee Day is a time for inclusivity, for communities worldwide to include refugees and asylum seekers in health care, education and sport.

Everyone forced to flee must have access to health services, medicine and vaccines. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNHCR in Malaysia has cooperated closely with relevant Government bodies and authorities in support of the country’s Covid-19 response, and in recent months, have continued to provide support where needed in the national vaccination programme. Because we all know that no one is safe until everyone is safe.

Education helps people forced to flee build better futures. When all children can go to school, communities grow stronger. In Malaysia, there over 37,000 children are of school-going age who do not have access to formal education. Some are able to attend community-run learning centres and learning centres set up by UNHCR and NGO partners, but we must do more to help all children get an education. The concern for the UN and others working in this area, that COVID-19 has interrupted education for children around the world and made remote classrooms necessary. This includes refugee children, who often are hit even harder by the pandemic while in exile. We must support refugees who need to study remotely.

Sport is a great way to heal, develop and grow – especially for people fleeing conflict or persecution. We call for greater funding for sports equipment, facilities and training opportunities and for the creation of spaces where people forced to flee can play together in safety. Did you know that there is a Refugee Olympic Team and a Refugee Paralympic Team? These athletes have overcome traumatic experiences to shine on the world stage and inspire others. For the second time in history, they will compete during the Games – in Tokyo this June!

Together we can achieve anything. Together we heal, learn, and shine. 



About UNHCR Malaysia 

Global Trends Report 2020