Veteran politician Vernon Mwaanga has wondered why more than 70 million refugees around the world are being looked after by poor countries who’s citizens can’t afford one meal a day.

In a statement to commemorate World Refugee Day, Thursday Mwaanga wondered what had happened to the global village concept when rich countries were putting up measures to turn away some distressed people.

“Conflicts in countries like Venezuela, Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, Central African Republic, Libya, Sudan, Afghanistan among others, are not making the world refugee situation any easier. Our country has had a proud record of looking after refugees and displaced persons since independence in 1964. At no point have we lived without refugees or displaced persons running away from persecution or instability in their own countries and at one time the number was more than 300,000. The United Nations, considers Zambia, a refugee friendly country, Mwaanga stated.

“It is instructive that of the more than 70 million refugees and displaced persons, are being looked after by the poorer countries of the world, whose citizens can hardly afford one meal per day. What has happened to the rich countries of the world, who are putting measures to turn away these distressed citizens of the world? What has happened to the spirit of caring for one another in this global village? What has happened to the biblical assertion of ‘love thy neighbour as you love thyself’?”

He stated that more needed to be done to make the world a more peaceful place.

“I have had the opportunity to visit many refugee camps around the world. It has been a depressing experience to listen to what some of the experiences these people have been through, particularly women, children, older persons and persons living with disabilities. Sadness, anxiety, helplessness and hopelessness are written all over their faces. We need a kinder, gentler place, where people and I mean all people in our troubled world, can modestly live in peace, freedom, harmony and relative prosperity,” stated Mwaanga.