Malala Has a Blunt Message For Countries Refusing Refugees

September 11th 2015

Nicole Charky

Malala Yousafzai just spoke out about the current refugee crisis. The activist praised German Chancellor Angela Merkel, for her response, and Yousafzai asked that other nations and people step up to aid Syrian refugees and others displaced in the region, who are fleeing their homes as a result of conflict. In a powerful statement released by her foundation on TIME and through her Malala Fund Tumblr, Yousafzai hearkened back to Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old boy who drowned while his family tried to reach Europe:

"After seeing the small body of Aylan Kurdi washed ashore in Turkey, I have prayed every day that his death will not be in vain. I have been asking myself: Is this the moment that our politicians will finally see that the children of Syria are the same as any other children? Will they finally acknowledge that people fleeing conflict have the right to be protected?"

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate also called the world's response to the crisis "pitiful."

"The world’s response has been pitiful–only 37% of the UN’s response plan for this year has been funded and more than 63% of funding needs are unmet. Food rations for refugees are being cut because nations will not contribute their fair share to help. Entire refugee camps have only one or two schools for children. If we say we care, we must not just use words, but take action."

Malala Yousafzai speaks out against world's response to refugee crisis

Yousafzai, who survived a Taliban attack and went on to write "I Am Malala," continues to advocate on behalf of children and girls' education around the world through her foundation. You can read her full statement below: