When we entered 2021, there were 82.4 million people in the world displaced by conflict or persecution.
Thirty million of these are refugees, the rest are displaced in their own country (48 million) or asylum seekers (4.1 million), according to the latest UNHCR report. report. Almost half of these forced displacements are children.
55 percent of the refugees come from three countries: Syria, Palestine and Venezuela.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, “everything else was stopped, including the economy, but wars and conflicts and violence and discrimination and persecution, all the factors that pushed these people to flee, continued,” said Filippo Grandi, head of the UNHCR.
Refugee travel during 2020
By 2020, 1.27 million people from 64 countries will become refugees. The infographic below shows the desperate journeys these people have taken despite the additional challenges posed by COVID-19.
Africa accounts for more than a third of the world’s population. By the end of 2020, at least 30.6 million people were displaced across the continent.
By 2020, nearly 60,000 refugees will flee Ethiopia to neighboring countries following violence in many parts of the East African country. In November 2020, fighting broke out in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia displacing more than a million people. according to the International Organization for Migration.
In the Middle East, Syrian refugees have continued to flee their country’s 10-year war, with nearly 134,000 leaving by 2020. Half of them (65,000) are fleeing to neighboring Turkey, which now hosts the largest number. largest refugee community in the world – 3.7 million people. That same year, nearly a quarter of Syrian refugees (32,500) arrived in Germany.
In Latin America, nearly 400,000 refugees are fleeing Venezuela after a political and economic crisis in the country. Of these, 139,000 were registered fleeing to Peru, 80,000 to the Dominican Republic and 60,000 to Brazil.
In Asia, the UN has registered at least 29,000 refugees from Myanmar. Almost all of these refugees have arrived in neighboring India (17,000) and Bangladesh (12,000).
In Europe, at least 89,000 refugees have fled Azerbaijan to Armenia after 44 days of fighting that erupted between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Across the Atlantic, during 2020, the United States will receive 8,500 refugees from 20 countries. Almost half of these refugees come from only three countries: Venezuela (1,600), El Salvador (1,200) and Guatemala (1,100). This is significantly lower than in 2019 when the country received 32,000 refugees.
Canada will receive 7,500 refugees from 21 countries by 2020. The main countries of origin were Nigeria (1,400), Iran (1,200) and Hungary (629). On the other side of the globe, Australia will receive only 956 refugees by 2020 – mostly from Iran.
Where are the largest refugee camps?
Refugee camps are intended as a safe temporary refuge to meet the basic needs of refugees. However, many people end up living in these camps for decades. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Kenya: “Many displaced people spend more than 16 years living as refugees in temporary shelters.”
The infographic below highlights some of the largest refugee camps in the world.
U Kutupalong Camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, it is the largest refugee camp in the world. It was created informally in the early 1990s after Myanmar’s minority, Rohingya, began to flee several repressions against them in Rakhine state.
In 2017, brutal repressions ravaged the state and the camp had to be significantly widened, reaching a capacity of about 800,000 people.
On March 22, 2021, a huge fire engulfed a nearby refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar. Fifteen people were killed and tens of thousands were left without their homes and belongings.
U Dadaab refugee complex in Kenya it comprises three large refugee camps – Hagadera, Dagahaley and Ifo – and hosts more than 200,000 refugees near the border with Somalia. Dadaab was established in 1991 after the civil war in Somalia and expanded in 2011 after widespread drought and famine.
U Kakuma refugee camp in northwestern Kenya there are at least 150,000 refugees mostly from South Sudan and Somalia. The camp was established in 1992 after the arrival of thousands of Sudanese children fleeing the civil war.
In March 2021, the Kenyan government announced that it would close the Dadaab and Kakuma refugee camps by June 30, 2022.
U Zaatari refugee camp was established in Jordan in 2012 to receive Syrian refugees. Today it is the largest Syrian refugee camp in the world. The world’s first COVID-19 vaccination center in a refugee camp was opened here in February 2021.
70 years of refugee travel
In 1951, the UN established the 1951 Refugee Convention, established to protect the rights of refugees in Europe after World War II. In 1967, the convention was expanded to address displacement in the rest of the world.
The infographic below highlights 70 years of refugee travel, from 1951 to 2020. The number of refugees has more than doubled in the last decade from 15 million in 2011 to 30 million in 2020.
The situation of Palestinian refugees is the longest unresolved refugee situation in the world. On May 14, 1948, the British Mandate for Palestine expired, sparking the first Arab-Israeli war. Zionist militias have expelled at least 750,000 Palestinians. According to figures compiled by the UNHCR, in 1952 the number of Palestinian refugees was 867,000. Today, that figure is 5.7 million.
Afghanistan has been devastated by four decades of war. From 1979 to 1989, the country was a stopover for one of the last battles of the Cold War as Soviet troops fought a bloody guerrilla war against the Afghan mujahideen. For the next decade, the county struggled. Just 12 years after the Soviet retreat, Afghanistan finds itself invaded again, this time by the United States. The highest number of Afghan refugees was recorded in 1990 where 6.3 million refugees were reported.
Which countries host the most refugees today?
At 6.7 million people, Syrians are the largest refugee population today followed by Palestinians (5.7 million) and Venezuelans (4 million). As of 2020, 88 percent of the world’s refugees are from just 12 countries.
At the end of reception, 65 percent of the world’s refugees are hosted by only 16 countries. Turkey hosts the largest refugee (3.7 million) followed by Jordan (3 million) and Colombia (1.7 million).
In Europe, in Germany there are about 1.2 million refugees, the highest on the continent.
According to UNHCR, developing countries host 86 percent of the world’s refugees.