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World Leaders Discuss Making Refugees a Priority

BALTIMORE, Md. (WJZ)-- Following his United Nation's address, President Obama joined other world leaders to discuss the worst refugee crisis since World War II.

"You have to imagine what it would be like for our families, our children if the unspeakable happened to us," said Obama.

From the Middle East to Africa, factors such as war, political upheaval, poverty and famine, have put millions on the move. Baltimore's Catholic Relief Services took part in the meeting.

"We must just step up," said Carolyn Woo, CEO of the Catholic Relief Services, an organization active in refugee camps from the Middle East to Europe.

Stepping up means finding more funds, increasing nation's quotas for refugees, and once re-settled, making sure they integrate with the host countries.

In the U.S., it might be easiest for children.

"You'll see kids interacting with all kinds of different kids. There isn't groups of students. They're all one big school," said a school principal.

Testimony at the U.N. meeting found more is needed.

"Things like language. The right to work is another issue, so it's way beyond education," said Woo.

Worldwide, there are an estimated 65-million displaced persons, four million are Syrian refugees. The Obama administration's goal is to take in 10,000 by the end of September. In comparison, Canada has already taken in 26,000 this year alone.

In previous refugee crisis, stays out of country averaged nine years. This time it could increase to 25 years.

"Now with no facilities and significant destruction. Sometimes people are worried about tensions and conflicts. And also it's very difficult to make a livelihood," said Woo.

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