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As More Refugees Drown, Leaders Talk in Davos


Migrants walk from the Macedonian border into Serbia, near the village of Miratovac, Serbia, in the early morning Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016. Macedonia briefly closed the border to refugees earlier Friday but soon re-opened it. The country is only letting in people from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, whom it considers refugees. It rejects all others as economic migrants. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)

Migrants walk from the Macedonian border into Serbia, near the village of Miratovac, Serbia, in the early morning Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016. Macedonia briefly closed the border to refugees earlier Friday but soon re-opened it. The country is only letting in people from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, whom it considers refugees. It rejects all others as economic migrants. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday called for major new international efforts to help refugees.

His speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland came on the same day that many migrants drowned in the Aegean Sea. The Greek Coast Guard said at least 42 people, including 17 children, died. Seventy people were rescued, but it is unknown how many remain missing.

Greece is the main destination for people fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East.

Kerry, the top diplomat in the United States, said that President Barack Obama will host a summit on the refugee crisis. It will take place at the United Nations in New York later this year. The goal of the summit is to increase the number of nations willing to help resettle refugees.

He added governments and private groups, including religious groups, will need to work together. He said, they must “integrate refugees into host communities socially, academically, and through access to employment.”

The United States has announced plans to admit 85,000 refugees by November and another 100,000 next year. This week, Senate Democrats blocked a Republican bill that would have barred new refugees from Syria and Iraq.

Republican presidential candidates have criticized the Obama plans to bring in more refugees from Syria and Iraq. They said it is a security risk.

However, Kerry said, “I know we know how to do this in a way that protects the security of our countries."

I'm Anna Matteo.

Pamela Dockins reported on this story for VOANews.com. Bruce Alpert adapted this story for Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.

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Words in This Story

drown v. to die by being underwater too long and unable to breathe

summitn. a meeting or series of meetings between the leaders of two or more governments

protectv. to keep from being harmed

integratev. to include, or make part of a larger group or organization

academicallyadv. relating to schools and education

accessn. a way of getting near, at, or to something or someone

corruptionn. dishonest or illegal behavior especially by powerful people

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