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Pope appeals for new efforts to help refugees, displaced people
    Calling refugees "among the poorest members of the human family," Pope John Paul II appealed for fresh efforts to protect displaced people and promote their dignity.
    In a letter to Sadako Ogata, who until Monday served as UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the Holy Father said care for refugees would continue to be a priority for the Catholic Church and its aid organisations.
    The letter, marking the UNHCR's 50th anniversary in mid-December, was signed on 22 November and released at the Vatican on Wednesday.
    The pope noted that he once referred to the plight of refugees in the world as "a shameful wound of our times," and that since then their numbers have increased and "their situation has become more tragic."