World Refugee Day, incoming migrants are a resource

World Refugee Day, incoming migrants are a resource

June 28, 2018

World Refugee Day, incoming migrants are a resource

A time for international reflection on migration, a growing phenomenon due to wars as well as environmental challenges. BCFN makes its contribution with a Report on the role of nutrition deficiency during large-scale movements of people.

The Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees was approved in Geneva on June 20, 1951. Today, seventeen years on, that date is still being celebrated as World Refugee Day, with worldwide events organized around a common theme announced every year by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). 

Every story deserves to be told and to be listened to. That is the spirit behind this year’s initiatives, brought together under the slogan #WithRefugees, telling of their past, their dreams, what they are leaving behind, and what they are hoping to find. The idea is to understand why people flee and to raise public and individual awareness of the positive contribution that refugees and migrants can make towards social change.

BCFN and the Food and Migration Report

According to the International Organization for Migration, there are currently over one billion migrants in the world. Of these, 760 million people are on the move within their own countries of residence or birth, and a further 244 million are international migrants. Food is still one of the main causes of migration, as also pointed out in the Food and Migration report produced by BCFN in partnership with Macrogeo. In recent decades, the main migration flows to and from the African continent stem from the breakdown in traditional food systems, a process more closely associated with climate change and drought, food policy failures and trade agreements than with wars, as shown by data published by the United Nations World Food Programme.


An economic resource

The aim of the #WithRefugees campaign is to show that migration can and must also be seen as a genuine resource. To return to the subject of food, the ethnic food sector plays a pivotal economic role, with the market share of ethnic household food now worth €3 billion in Western Europe alone. This could rise in the future, thereby translating into a tangible economic benefit for the countries of origin, for the host countries as well as for the migrants employed in the sector. The market for spices and herbs is actually estimated to reach a total value of €8.74 billion in 2020.

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