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Clinton highlights plight of refugees

world Updated: Jun 21, 2009 08:31 IST

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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton highlighted the plight of refugees as a challenge to global security, health and economic development.

In remarks prepared to coincide with World Refugee Day on Friday, Clinton said the fates of an estimated 34 million refugees and internal displaced people had "broad repercussions for their families, their countrymen, and all people everywhere.

"The plight of refugees has an impact on regional and global security; the threats that cause people to flee their homes en masse are dangers to the world at large," she said.

"Their plight impacts economic development; most refugees have no means to support their families or contribute to their nations' prosperity."

"Their plight impacts health and education; disease is rampant in many camps, while educational resources for refugee children are limited."

Her comments come as the international community and aid agencies struggle to cope with refugee crises in Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Chad, the Central African Republic and Darfur.