November 27, 2022

The next is a transcript of an interview with Filippo Grandi, the U.N. prime commissioner for refugees, that aired Sunday, March 6, 2022, on “Face the Country.”


MARGARET BRENNAN: Christina Ruffini in Poland, thanks. We wish to cross now to the United Countries Top Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. He is at a refugee refuge on the Ukrainian-Polish border. Excellent afternoon to you, Top Commissioner. You have got stated that is the quickest shifting refugee exodus since Global Warfare II. What are the numbers now? What are you seeing?

UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES FILIPPO GRANDI:  As of as of late, we’ve got handed the horrible mark of one.5 million refugees, and this in 10 days, necessarily from Ukraine into 5 neighboring nations. The majority right here in Poland, the place I’m now. And if I call to mind previous a long time, I can’t assume in Europe of a quicker exodus of other people. No longer for the reason that finish of the 2d Global Warfare, I’d say.

MARGARET BRENNAN: What are you seeing relating to the state that individuals are appearing up at those shelters in. What do they want?

COMMISSIONER GRANDI: Males of army age, which is from 18 to 60, can not go away the rustic. They’re in conscription and they’ve to stick there to shield their nation. So it is most commonly girls, kids, aged, many disabled other people and they’re above all, anxious, traumatized. Those are people who till only some days in the past, had a wonderfully standard existence. And in- in an issue of hours, the whole lot is thrown aside. And so they should be at the highway. Very tough trips, very traumatizing trips thru battle torn Ukraine, as much as the border and now right here the place they are protected. However in fact, they are separated from households. Unsure about their long run. So I’d say that- that the trauma and anguish is essentially the most defining function of the instant.

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MARGARET BRENNAN: Can civilians safely get in a foreign country? What number of people can be refugees however are as an alternative displaced and in danger at the moment?

COMMISSIONER GRANDI: Those statistics are not possible to- to- to outline exactly as a result of we do not have get entry to. We’re, you already know, UN companies and Crimson Move are throughout the nation, however they may be able to now not transfer all over the place. This is the reason the UN and the Crimson Move are seeking to negotiate protected passage to essentially the most affected puts. However previously, we’ve got now not succeeded in getting the essential promises and admire for the ceasefire. That is the best manner that we will be able to ship convoys in, carry provides and, if essential, carry other people out. However individuals are shifting additionally from different puts which can be even much less impacted. Every so often they transfer prior to it occurs as a result of they understand it would possibly occur to their location. So that is a- an especially messy scenario. 

MARGARET BRENNAN:  Who’s firing on the ones protected passages? 

COMMISSIONER GRANDI:  Smartly, there’s bombardment via the Russian forces, and that is what individuals are most commonly terrified of. The day before today I used to be in Moldova and different neighboring nations. Folks had been coming from the town of Odessa, the place there’s no bombing- bombardment but. However sirens have sounded over the day and individuals are so afraid that they simply go away their houses, particularly other people with kids. They wish to carry them to protection.

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MARGARET BRENNAN: You understand, Top Commissioner, you’ve gotten been coping with those file refugee numbers all over the global even prior to this took place in Europe. What occurs now that you’ve this large inflow? What does the UN want? I imply, what sort of assets do you wish to have?

COMMISSIONER GRANDI:  Smartly, let me state the most obvious. First, we want this to forestall. We want this to forestall as a result of with out the battle preventing, other people will simply proceed to pour in a foreign country. One and a part million is hard sufficient to control, even for reasonably strong and wealthy nations in Europe. Consider, on the other hand, if we cross additional up and we can, we can indubitably if it does not prevent. Now for- for the folks which can be at the motion. To begin with, we wish to get extra provides within Ukraine. And for that, we want a minimum of some spaces of tranquility the place we will be able to ship assist after which right here for the mass of refugees. So much is wanted, you already know, any more or less reduction provides. We want money to assist other people. We want logistical give a boost to. Eu nations have way and group. But when this collection of other people grows, we can want extra global give a boost to. And in the future, if other people keep right here for a protracted time frame, there must be different nations providing puts to host refugees, even out of doors Europe.

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MARGARET BRENNAN: Inform me about that as a result of there was once large political backlash in 2015 when Syrian refugees poured into Europe. There are fees of racism of discrimination. Poland, simply up to now 12 months, has attempted to construct a wall to stay refugees out coming from the Center East, from Africa. What’s other now and what is occurring to these refugees?

COMMISSIONER GRANDI: I believe there’s, in fact, this present day, a colossal emergency. There’s a certain- there are specific geopolitical components at play, however I- I- I have a look at the longer term. And you might be proper, we’ve got been suffering with convincing Europe to take- to open the doorways for extra other people, to not chase away other people. However I believe that this disaster, and I have stated it prior to, carries crucial message that anyone can turn into a refugee. Very all at once. And that any nation can turn into a frontline refugee receiving nation desiring the give a boost to of others. We would like- Europe is studying rapid to paintings in combination in such a lot of tactics in keeping with this disaster. I am hoping that this running in combination will observe to all other people in the hunt for shelter in Europe, now not best now which is occurring, however at some point as neatly.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Thanks very a lot, Mr. Top Commissioner, in your time as of late and just right good fortune to you. We’re going to be again in a second.