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UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi’s message on the occasion of Ramadan

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UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi’s message on the occasion of Ramadan

11 May 2019 Also available in:

10 May 2019

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, shared his warmest wishes with all those observing the holy month of Ramadan, urging solidarity with millions of forcibly displaced people worldwide.

“In a world where we tragically continue to witness unprecedented human suffering and desperation, with almost 70 million people forcibly uprooted from their homes, patience and mercy, the values of Ramadan, are more vital than ever,” Grandi said in a video address from Bangladesh.

The High Commissioner said Ramadan provides a time “to remember the innocent lives lost in pursuit of safety and asylum, and to show our support to the millions driven from their homes by violence and persecution. Let us honour their resilience and stand in solidarity with them, today and every day.”


Grandi’s message was recorded during a visit to Kutupalong refugee camp in Bangladesh, at the centre of an area hosting almost one million Rohingya people who have fled their homes in Myanmar in search of safety and shelter across the border.

He stressed that the holy month falls this year at a time when the world has witnessed

senseless attacks on people as they gather to worship,

as well as mounting xenophobia,

and hardening political sentiments towards those who are in greatest need of support.

“Against this backdrop, I am consistently humbled by the countless displays of human generosity, often demonstrated by those who themselves have little to spare. It is in places like this, here in Cox’s Bazar, that we see host communities in Bangladesh demonstrating the very values central to the month of Ramadan day in and day out: compassion, solidarity, generosity, all extended to refugees and the forcibly displaced. I remain inspired by individuals and leaders who choose courage over divisiveness and compassion over fear.”

Grandi concluded his message with a call for unity in the face of prevailing challenges: “The holy month of Ramadan conveys a very important message today which we must not forget: may what unites us prevail over what divides us.”

You can make a donation to UNHCR’s Ramadan appeal here:




The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was established on 14 December 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and coordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee issues. It strives to ensure that everyone has the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another state, with the option to voluntarily return home when conditions are conducive for return, integrate locally or resettle to a third country. UNHCR has twice won the Nobel Peace Prize, in 1954 for its ground-breaking work in helping the refugees of Europe, and in 1981 for its worldwide assistance to refugees.