When we entered 2021, there were 82.4 million people worldwide 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 from UNHCR report. Almost half of these people forcibly displaced are children.
55 percent of the refugees come from three countries: Syria, Palestine and Venezuela.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, “everything else has stopped, including economies, but wars and conflicts, violence and discrimination and persecution, all the factors that pushed these people to flee, have continued.” , said UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi.
Refugee travel during 2020
In 2020, 1.27 million people in 64 countries became refugees. The following infographic shows the desperate journeys these people made despite the additional challenges that COVID-19 posed.
Africa accounts for more than a third of the world’s displaced. By the end of 2020, at least 30.6 million people had been displaced across the continent.
In 2020, nearly 60,000 refugees fled Ethiopia to neighboring countries following violence in various parts of the East African country. In November 2020, fighting began in the northern Tigray region of Ethiopia, displacing more than a million people. in accordance with the International Organization for Migration.
In the Middle East, Syrian refugees continued to flee their country’s ten-year war, with nearly 134,000 abandoned in 2020. Half of them (65,000) fled to neighboring Turkey, which now hosts the community of largest refugees in the world: 3.7 million people. In the same year, almost a quarter of Syrian refugees (32,500) arrived in Germany.
In Latin America, about 400,000 refugees fled 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 registered at least 29,000 refugees from Myanmar. Almost all of these refugees arrived in neighboring India (17,000) and Bangladesh (12,000).
In Europe, at least 89,000 refugees fled Azerbaijan to Armenia after 44 days of fighting that erupted between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh territory.
On the other side of the Atlantic, by 2020, the United States received 8,500 refugees from 20 countries. Almost half of these refugees came 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 received 7,500 refugees from 21 countries in 2020. The main countries of origin were Nigeria (1,400), Iran (1,200) and Hungary (629). Across the world, Australia will only receive 956 refugees by 2020, most from Iran.
Where are the largest refugee camps?
Refugee camps are intended as temporary shelters to meet the basic needs of refugees. Still, 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 a temporary shelter.”
The following infographic shows some of the largest refugee camps in the world.
He Kutupalong Camp at Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, is the largest refugee camp in the world. It was created informally in the early 1990s after Myanmar’s minority, the Rohingya, began fleeing various crackdowns in Rakhine state.
In 2017, brutal crackdowns erupted across the state and the camp had to be significantly expanded, reaching a capacity of approximately 800,000 people.
On March 22, 2021, a huge fire ravaged a neighboring refugee camp at Cox’s Bazar. Fifteen people died and tens of thousands were left without a home or property.
He 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.
He Kakuma Refugee Camp at least 150,000 refugees live in northwestern Kenya, 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 on June 30, 2022.
He Zaatari refugee camp settled in Jordan in 2012 to house 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 opened in February 2021.
70 years of refugee travel
In 1951, the UN established the 1951 Convention on Refugees, created to protect the rights of refugees in Europe after World War II. In 1967, the convention was expanded to address travel to the rest of the world.
The following infographic highlights the 70 years of refugee travel, from 1951 to 2020. The number of refugees has 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 problem in the world. On May 14, 1948, the British mandate for Palestine expired, triggering the first Arab-Israeli war. Zionist militias expelled at least 750,000 Palestinians. According to UNHCR figures, 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 the scene of one of the last battles of the Cold War, as Soviet troops fought a bloody guerrilla war against Afghan mujahideen. Over the next decade, the county had problems. Only twelve years after the Soviet withdrawal, Afghanistan would be invaded again, this time by the US. The highest number of Afghan refugees was recorded in 1990, where 6.3 million refugees were reported.
Which countries host the most refugees today?
With 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% of the world’s refugees came from just 12 countries.
When it is achieved, 65% of the world’s refugees are only housed in 16 countries. Turkey hosts more refugees (3.7 million), followed by Jordan (3 million) and Colombia (1.7 million).
In Europe, some 1.2 million refugees live in Germany, the highest on the continent.
According to UNHCR, developing countries host 86 percent of the world’s refugees.