(CNN)Each year, on June 20, World Refugee Day spotlights the bravery and strength of people forced to flee their home countries to escape war or oppression.
According to the UN, which established World Refugee Day in 2000, more than 70 million people are now forcibly displaced worldwide. More than half of them come from Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia. The UN declared this year’s theme “Every Action Counts.” And although coronavirus is limiting physical opportunities to get involved this year, there are still plenty of virtual actions you can take to help refugees. According to the UN, refugees are unable or unwilling to return to their country due to fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.Join virtual events Read MoreThe UN has compiled a list of events you can join from the comfort of your home that are led by or involve refugees. Have a love for art? Browse through an online exhibition that includes works from Bulgarian artists and refugees. You can learn more about resilience in times of struggle by tuning into the ninth annual Refugee Film Festival. Here, you can sign up to watch a selection of movies highlighting the experiences of refugees across the world. To view more virtual happenings sponsored by the UN, click here. Send messages of support and gratitude The International Rescue Committee has worked in more than 40 countries and more than 20 US cities, delivering health care, education, cash and employment support to some of the most vulnerable people in the world. This year, the organization is asking people to send words of encouragement to refugees — many of whom are essential workers.
Every day, refugees are at the frontlines fighting #COVID19.That's why this week— ahead of #WorldRefugeeDay—we’re proud to take over our channels to honor the refugees who are essential to making the world a better, safer place for us all. Learn more: https://t.co/nilYI7LDha
— IRC – International Rescue Committee (@RESCUEorg) June 15, 2020 “One in five refugees resettled in the US by the IRC this year immediately took positions in health care and the food industry, supporting the US Covid-19 pandemic response. As the Covid-19 pandemic rages on, we’re seeing thousands of refugees in the US on the front lines, from doctors and nurses to Uber drivers and factory workers,” David Miliband, IRC president, told CNN. Miliband’s work with the IRC is personal. “The first refugees I ever met were my parents. They were refugees from Belgium and Poland to the UK in the 1940s. World Refugee Day is both a personal and a global moment to shed light on the resilience of the human spirit and the strength of people who have overcome insurmountable obstacles to rebuild their lives,” Miliband explained. You can send encouraging words to refugee essential workers here. Donate to organizations There are many organizations who are on the front lines supporting refugees by providing clean water, food, health care and safe places. CNN’s Impact Your World has a list of vetted charities helping refugees around the world. You can donate by clicking the button below. And if you’re active on Twitter, use this emoji and hashtag to tweet in solidarity.
— UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency (@Refugees) June 15, 2020