Refugees need more help, says African churches' leader


06/24/2008 - The head of the All Africa Conference of Churches has warned that the continent still has 12 million refugees, despite hopeful signs in some countries, and he urged a redoubling of efforts to help those who have fled their homes and countries, reports Ecumenical News International.

"There are positive signs that some refugees in countries like Sudan, Congo and Liberia are returning to their homes but there is still much to be done," said the Rev. Mvume Dandala in a statement to mark the United Nations' World Refugee Day on 20 June. "The church can still help give refugees hope for the future, and new opportunities for their families and communities."

The United Nations' High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, who was in Kenya for activities to mark World Refugee Day, said that protecting refugees was now a "vastly more challenging" task than when his office was founded in 1951 to help Europeans uprooted by the Second World War.