MEDIA NOTE: President Obama’s refugee summit – reaction quote and expert available

21 September 2016

US President Barack Obama hosted a leaders’ summit in New York yesterday to secure pledges from governments around the world to respond to the global refugee crisis.

In response, Sara Pantuliano, managing director of the UK’s Overseas Development Institute think tank, said from New York: ‘President Obama deserves credit for pushing for clear commitments to support refugees around the world.

‘Poor countries, who already host 86% of the world’s refugees, some rich countries and private sector organisations have responded to the challenge with a range of encouraging commitments, such as new resettlement places from Portugal and Argentina and Ethiopia’s statement on access to work for refugees.

‘However, today’s pledges also demonstrate that while some richer countries are willing to make purely financial pledges, they continue to avoid their responsibility to offer safe and legal routes to asylum. Without that, refugees will continue to face deadly risks as they pursue a life in safety and dignity.’

ENDS

Feel free to use any of this quote in round-ups of the summit.

For more information or to interview Sara Pantuliano please call the Overseas Development Institute on +44 (0)7808 791265