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DROUGHT, UKRAINE WAR DRIVING SPIKE IN REFUGEE NUMBERS

(20 Jun 2022)
RESTRICTION SUMMARY:
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Rome - 20 June 2022
1. Sign with poster of refugees at entrance to conference for World Day of Refugees
2. Conference organized by UN High Commission for Refugees to mark World Refugee Day
3. Audience listening
4. Speakers on stage
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Carlotta Sami, UN High Commission for Refugees spokesperson:
"100 million persons that currently are displaced around the globe. And this is a crisis that really impacts every continent, every country basically because we have of course a war in the heart of Europe, with the invasion of Russia into Ukraine, but we have many other conflicts and situations of violence and instability. If you think about Asia and Myanmar and we think about Afghanistan and we think about the African continent and Central and Latin America."
6. Cameraperson filming Abdullahi Ahmed, former refugee and Turin City Councilor
7. Close of Ahmed's book titled (Italian) "Looking Ahead" as he flips through it
8. SOUNDBITE (Italian) Abdullahi Ahmed, refugee from Somalia and Turin City Councilor:
"I left from Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. I became familiar with war at three years old, I lived for 16 years in the middle of the Somali civil war, being young I had a right to build a better future, I understood it wasn't possible to do that in Somalia. I also had a responsibility, not openly declared, but I was the oldest child of a numerous family, so it was up to me to undertake this trip to help give a future to my brothers and sisters. Obviously my trip lasted seven months, it was really difficult, risky, but it helped me grow up. I crossed Ethiopia, Sudan, Libya and the Mediterranean Sea. I arrived in June 2018, exactly 14 years ago on Lampedusa, in Sicily."
9. Ahmed pointing to map in his book showing the route he took to get to Italy
10. SOUNDBITE (Italian) Yasmien Abdul Azeem, Syrian refugee, cultural mediator and president of The Syrian Jasmine association:
"I escaped from the war, and I lived as a refugee in Lebanon for two years. It was there that I got to know the Community of Sant'Egidio, the Humanitarian Corridors, the Evangelical Church, the Friends, they proposed that we come here and start a new life because the situation was much worse, even in Lebanon, there was crisis, political conflict, many problems."
11. Sign at entrance to conference
STORYLINE:
The UN refugee agency hosted a conference in Rome on Monday with climate change and the war in Ukraine among the factors driving a sharp rise in the displacement of people around the world.
UNHCR spokesperson Carlotta Sami said 100 million people were currently displaced as part of a refugee crisis affecting every continent.
Droughts brought on by climate change and Russia's invasion of Ukraine impacting grain availability and fuel prices have threatened food security worldwide.
The conference in Rome came alongside World Refugee Day on June 20, as the agency emphasized the importance of creating safe pathways and integration policies for migrants.
Among the delegates were refugees who told their own stories.
Abdullahi Ahmed, who was elected as a councilor in the northern Italian city of Turin in 2021, told of his seven-month odyssey crossing Africa aged 19, from his home in Mogadishu, across Sudan, Ethiopia, Libya, the Mediterranean Sea to the Italian island of Lampedusa.  
When Ahmed arrived, he only had the clothes on his back and a dream to help his family back home.  
In 2020, he published a book about his experiences called Looking Ahead.
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