World Refugee Day commemorates the obstacles refugees face each year, while also celebrating their courage and strength. Since 2001, the United Nations and more than 100 countries have observed World Refugee Day annually on June 20th.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has started the #WithRefugees petition to send a message of action, solidarity, and responsibility on behalf of refugees to governments worldwide.
Together, we can work to end the refugee crisis and find homes for displaced peoples worldwide. Here are seven facts to help you better understand the current refugee crisis, and how you can help:
According to the UNHCR, there are 65.3 million forcibly displaced people around the world.
More than 21 million of these people are refugees and 10 million are stateless.
On average, 42,500 people per dayflee their homes to seek protection within the borders of their own country or other countries.
In the last year alone, there have been 13.9 million people newly displaced.
The civil war in Syria has led to one of the worst humanitarian crises of our lifetime.
More than 11 million Syrians are currently displaced. This amounts to 45% of the Syrian population.
86% of the world's refugees are hosted by developing countries.
This number has jumped by 16% in the last decade. Refugees only account for a tiny percentage of overall immigration.
The world’s largest refugee camp is located in Dadaab, Kenya, which is home to more than 329,000 people.
Of the 20 million refugees worldwide, 51% are under the age of 18.
This is the highest number of child refugees since World War II.
The first-ever Refugee Team competed at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
The team was comprised of athletes from Ethiopia, South Sudan, The Democratic Republic of Congo, and Syria.
How You Can Help
Share this article on Facebook or Twitter to spread the word about the millions of refugees that need support.
Choose a project that speaks to you from the list below. GlobalGiving has a number of partners working on the ground to provide support in various ways—from empowering refugees by sharing to stories to ensuring access to food for families—and you can support any one of them today.
Projects working to assist refugees around the world
Lighthouse Relief was formed on the Greek island of Lesvos in September 2015, as thousands of refugees were arriving every day. We mobilised quickly to provide structured emergency response to the area, and - when it became apparent that people were stranded for longer periods in mainland Greece - expanded to support vulnerable groups like women, children and youth. Three years later, we remain committed to advancing a dignified and empowering humanitarian response for as long as it's needed.
In December 2016 Echo100Plus launched the Echo-Hub, a community centre in the town of Lakki on the island of Leros, to help arriving refugees from war-torn countries prepare for the next steps of their journeys and foremost the arduous task of integration. Neither the Greek authorities nor any other NGO currently offer similar assistance to adult refugees on the island.
We believe the humanitarian crises unfolding across Europe require a strategic and long-term advocacy approach and sustained pressure from civil society actors. We furthermore believe a regional, national and international response to asylum and migration that upholds the human rights of people seeking refuge in Europe is perfectly possible. In 2020, we will continue calling for change, from ensuring humane living conditions in transit points to stopping the obstruction of asylum procedures.
Right now, across the world, millions of children are caught up in conflicts they played no part in creating. Children make up more than half of the world's 22.5 million refugees from countries like Syria, South Sudan, Yemen, Uganda, and Bangladesh. Many have known nothing but war, deprivation and fear. They aren't in school and often struggle to find the basic essentials - their lives and futures at risk.
The "Holistic Support for Refugees Arriving to Greece" project will provide emergency aid and psychosocial support to refugees in Greece which has been the first point of entry into Europe for refugees making the treacherous journey in hope of finding asylum and refuge. Greece's resources have been overstretched, bearing the brunt of the recent mass influx of refugees for over 1.5 years.
Refugee rights have been at the core of 3 Generations' work since we covered the genocide in Darfur in the film The Devil Came On Horseback in 2007. Our feature Lost in Lebanon was part of our multi-part coverage of the Syrian refugee crisis. A Refugee's Journey tells the story of a Rohingya Muslim fleeing Myanmar. Currently we are working on the stories of Yazidi women captured during the genocide against their people and forced into slavery in ISIS. We have filmed refugees in 8 countries.
Letters of Love will deliver handwritten letters connecting people around the world to more than 10,000 Syrian, Iraqi, Yazidi, Afghan, Palestinian, South Sudanese & Rohingya refugee children. Aside these tokens of hope & solidarity which make the children feel special, this project will also provide youth-led psychosocial support in the form of creative toy kits, educational resources, art workshops et al in refugee camps & community centers in Turkey, Sudan, India, Bangladesh & Greece.
To enhance the wellbeing, resilience and psychological reintegration of children impacted by armed conflict and violence and reduce violent behavior risk, IAHV conducted till now Stress Relief and Resilience workshops for 5,560 children; Resilience and Empowerment programs for 1,658 parents; Stress Management and Professional Care for 450 social and youth workers. 310 at risk and traumatised youths underwent a deep Healing and Human values Training, while 68 were trained as peace ambassadors.
The conflict in Syria has led to the killing or displacement of more than half of the country's population. It is the largest human displacement since WWII and Syrians easily represent the largest refugee group in the world today. CARE reaches Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, Yemen, and those displaced inside Syria with food, hygiene items, and emergency cash assistance. Learn more at www.care.org/country/syria.
For as little as $15 you can help UNFPA, the United Nations reproductive health and right agency, get 3 emergency birth kits, including a bar of soap, clear plastic sheet, razor blade, an umbilical cord tie, cloth and latex gloves into the hands of pregnant mothers and health care workers as they safely deliver babies in crisis situations.
We Need Books was founded in 2016 in response to the overwhelming refugee crisis. We have provided refugees in camps and shelters with hundreds of books in their native languages. This project will contribute to funding Athens' first multilingual library, which will also serve as an inclusive community center. It will provide the more than 400,000 refugees and migrants in Athens with access to educational resources, vocational training and networking opportunities.
Now in its eighth year and with no end in sight, the conflict in Syria has become the largest humanitarian crisis since World War II. Education remains central to the humanitarian response plans in Syria. To ensure access to education for internally displaced children and those living in hard-to-reach and besieged areas in Syria, UNICEF has designed a Self-Learning Program, which aims to reach 95,000 Syrian children who have limited or no access to schooling.
Over 650,000 refugees from Middle East, mainly from Syria, have entered Serbia over the last 18 months and are still coming in hundreds on daily basis. Amongst them are more than 200,000 children and over 5,000 of them are unaccompanied ones. We are trying to help them stay physically and mentally healthy. Alongside humanitarian aid, we are also trying to develop an online Q&A list for their protection, information and education on how and where they can seek medical, legal and social help.
COHI supports one of the remaining hospital networks operating in the Aleppo and Idlib region left to care for the citizens in the cities and surrounding rural areas, which has been a theater of war. Due to frequent hospital bombings, there are incredibly limited resources for mothers and infants to receive healthcare, and general supplies are low. COHI and partner organization Human Appeal are committed to delivering much needed supplies, resources and support to the last health care center.
The project aims to support 400 Syrian and Lebanese families residing in the Damour area.Twice a week our local representative "Oui pour la vie" provides them balanced meals from a nutritional point of view.Thanks to this initiative,2000 children and their parents have the chance to enjoy a full meal. The repast consists of vegetables, rice, a main course of meat or fish and fruit. Besides this service, our operators try to help families in their daily basic needs, such as shelter,medicines etc
Now in its fifth year, the Syrian civil war has sparked one of the greatest population exoduses in modern history, with more than four million Syrians fleeing to neighboring countries, and 7 million displaced internally within Syria. Since July 2013, Concern Worldwide has worked with displaced persons inside Syria and with refugees and vulnerable host families in Lebanon and Turkey to meet basic needs, improve access to health care, and provide psycho-social support.
"Asylum seekers fleeing war or abuse shouldn't have to hide in their tents to feel safe in Europe" (Eva Cosse, Human Right's Watch). Today, more than 1,300 women stranded in Moria refugee camp are under constant threat of gender-based violence and sexual harassment. Often, these women are forced to hide or avoid going to the bathroom in fear for their own safety. We want to continue offering 300 refugee women self-defense training and yoga so they can feel empowered to stand up for themselves.
Customs Health Care Society, Pakistan(CHCS) has started a relief fund to help the Syrian Refugees living in Turkey.In 2016, the United Nations (UN) identified 13.5 million Syrians requiring humanitarian assistance, of which more than 6 million are internally displaced within Syria, and over 4.8 million are refugees outside of Syria. In January 2017, UNHCR counted 4,863,684 registered refugees. Turkey is the largest host country of registered refugees with over 2.7 million Syrian refugee
CARE is working to help Syrians meet their most urgent needs and protect their dignity. Jordan, the second refugee-hosting country in the world on a per capital basis and a country with one of the longest histories of doing so, hosts an estimated number of 1.3 million Syrians (among whom are 650,000 approx. registered with UNHCR as refugees). CARE is on the ground collaborating with partners and helping people displaced by the conflict and the communities hosting them.
Fleeing to seek refuge in Europe, thousands of people have died making the short sea crossing from Turkey to Lesvos. Setting off in flimsy rubber boats and wearing fake life jackets, many find themselves heading for rocks or sand banks that can readily capsize or sink a dinghy. Others abandoned by smugglers who drop them at beaches inaccessible via land. Our Search and Rescue crew and emergency response team are on call 24/7, working to prevent any more lives being needlessly lost to The Aegean.
With over four million Syrian refugees in neighboring countries and continued cuts in humanitarian aid, NEF is helping refugee women and adolescent girls in Lebanon and Jordan achieve self-reliance through skills training to improve economic opportunity, financial literacy, group savings, conflict management, and social networking.
Today, Turkey is home to the largest refugee population in the world with nearly 4 million refugees coming from over 60 nations. Having a sustainable life in Turkey is the part that you can take action by supporting education not only by encouraging over 1 million refugee children to get enrolled in schools but also continue their education at university. Fight against "lost generation", child labor and marriage and be part of the resilience and empower youth to build their countries' future!
The Food Project delivers fresh fruit, vegetables & dry food to over 5000 refugees stranded in Greece. Through operating in 17 refugee sites and partnering with 15 organisations, each family receives two food packs a week. The project gives malnourished children access to the vital nutrients they need to grow strong and healthy. It allows families to cook for themselves, empowering individuals and upholding dignity. A project that aims to enhance the health and well-being of those fleeing war.
Women and girls displaced by armed conflict suffer most from not having suitable accommodation or access to a bathroom and fresh water. Many live in shared shelters or abandoned buildings without a change of clothing or the means to attend to their hygiene needs. A lack of sanitary pads and clean underwear prevents women and girls from going out and can also cause infections and skin disease. The project will provide clothing and a supply of sanitary pads to restore dignity and well-being.
Some of the most vulnerable and neglected Syrian refugees and Yezidi IDP's (Internally Displaced People) in Northern Iraq are families who have a family member with a disability. Operation Mercy empowers people with disabilities and their families by providing assistive devices, physical therapy and emotional resilience programs. Currently, Operation Mercy serves 80 clients and their families.
More than 12 million people have been impacted by the 5-year war, and nearly 4 million have fled to neighboring countries of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, where World Vision is providing aid. Thousands more families are mired in a difficult journey to Europe, and are stranded in transit on their way to welcoming European Union countries. We providing help to families traveling along what is called the Balkan Byway, with a focus on Serbia.
The crisis in Syria forced hundreds of thousands of Syrian families to flee, many to neighboring Iraq. Peace Winds has been assisting families providing shelter, infrastructure, schooling, and livelihoods in northern Iraq/Kurdistan for more than 20 years. The "present Turkey/Syria border crisis" has greatly increased the flow of Kurdish and other refugees. The anticipated 250,000 refugees will need shelter, food, water. Peace Winds is responding.
Football has to power to unite more than anything else in the world. More significantly, it has the power to restore childhood to children who have lost everything. The F4L programme will am to secure funds to launch a F4L Syria programme and support the child-survivors through play and normalcy. The F4L virtual stadium is a call for all football fans to help us launch our Syria Programme and bring some sense of hope and future to children.
Insan Association will provide Access to Education at Insan School, as well as Psycho-Social support for the most marginalized children in Lebanon. Children of refugees from Iraq and Syria, children of migrants, as well as vulnerable Lebanese children, have no access to schooling due to poverty and discrimination. Accordingly, Insan aims to help these children to fully live out their childhoods, and continue to play, learn, discover, and laugh, despite the hardships they face
In order to help the millions of people who have been displaced due to armed conflict, persecution, or other dangers, the member organizations of Aktion Deutschland Hilft are implementing numerous projects for refugees worldwide. These projects cover areas such as the provision of emergency shelters, psycho-social support for traumatized children, distribution of food and hygiene articles, assistance for unaccompanied refugee minors, and medical care.
You can support Syrian children to cope with the effects of war, to build their resilience so they might prosper despite their experiences. International Alert provides safe spaces where children can engage in arts and play based therapies, build relationships with their peers, and enjoy the simple joys of childhood.
In any war or conflict, it is the children who are the most vulnerable and devastated. Children are the largest and fastest growing number of victims in the Syrian conflict, and women are the 2nd. We are working to heal a whole generation of Syrian children from the deep and life draining trauma of violence and rebuild devastated families. Our Social Health Care Program conducts disaster health care field clinics and trains a growing pool of local therapists in emergency trauma recovery skills.
Focus of DKH in the countries of Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and Turkey is the supply of refugee families, especially outside the camps, and support for host families and communities. Especially now, as winter sets in, people urgently need accommodation, clothing, blankets, stoves, and coal and food.
No one gives more than moms, it's now time to give back to them! Make your mother happy by giving to another who is as strong as her, support a newly-born baby just like she once supported you. Syrian Crisis is on its 8th year. Since the beginning, 225 thousands Syrian babies are born in Turkey. Displaced by the war, refugee mothers are trying to keep their children and our hopes well and alive. Let's envision a world in which every baby that's born is growing in health, wealth and safety.
This project funds the solar power network of two refugee camps on the Greek island: Lesvos. These camps provide a home for more than 2000 men, women and children. Giving residents access to solar power is an important part of Movement on the Ground's larger vision for a self-reliant and sustainable refugee camp.
Syrian refugees in Gaza, worried about family left behind, asked not to show their faces. 154 families sought refuge in Gaza when their homes in Syria were destroyed. They walked across to Lebanon, flew to Egypt, crossed to the Gaza Strip seeking specialized medical care, food, and jobs but now Gaza's economy is collapsing due to 12 years of blockade and the US cut of all aid. Please help these families get back on their feet with a 3-month job placement program and restorative medical care.
Over 4,000,000 persons are now in squalid refugee camps and 800,000 more have moved to a Europe increasingly reluctant and incapable of handling their medical and psychological needs. On the border of the United States with Mexico another tragedy is being acted out. IMCRA offers a unique and effective solution by providing free native-language access to specialists in medicine, psychology and the psychosocial sciences.
Donors will help to fund a great project of integrating refugees in different ways. On a social base by cooking with new friends and connecting with others, and in a local community by presenting themselves and their work at big events.