Refugee Realities 2016

65.3 million people have been forced to flee their homes as a result of persecution, conflict and/or human rights violations. This is the highest number recorded since WW II.

Only in 2015 12.4 million people were forcibly displaced. The number of forcibly displaced people in the world has increased by more than 50 % since 2011.

An average 34,000 people are uprooted every day. An average of 24 people was newly uprooted every minute.

40.8 million people have been forced to flee their homes, but not their country (i.e. internally displaced), and 21.3 million are refugees. Refugees are people who were forced to flee their country of origin in search of safety. To receive refugee protection, they have to prove that they could not find refuge within their homeland and that the authorities in their country either could not or would not protect them.

There are 3.2 million asylum-seekers in the world. An asylum-seeker is an individual seeking international protection and whose claim for refugee status has not yet been determined.

Around 10 million people in the world are stateless. They do not possess the nationality of any State.

o 47% of the world's refugees are women.

o 51% of the world's refugees are under 18 years old.

o 86% of the world’s refugees are hosted by developing countries.

Countries that received the most claims for asylum in 2015:

Germany received 441,900 new applications for asylum in 2015. The USA received the second highest number of applications (172,700) and Sweden third (156,400).

More than half (54 %) of the world's refugees come from just 3 countries, Syria (4.9 m), Afghanistan (2.7 m) and Somalia (1.1 m).

Countries with the most displaced people (refugees + IDP):

1. Syria (11.7 m)

2. Colombia (7 m)

3. Iraq (4.9 m)

4. Afghanistan (4.2 m)

5. Sudan (3.9 m)

6. South Sudan (2.6 m)

7. Yemen (2.5 m)

8. Nigeria (2.4 m)

9. Somalia (2.3 m)

10. D.R. Congo (2.2 m)

What part of the world hosts the most refugees?

86 % of the world's refugees are hosted by developing nations. 37 % of the world’s refugees are hosted in North Africa and the Middle East. 21 % are hosted in sub-Saharan Africa. 21 % are hosted in Europe. 18 % are hosted in the Asia/Pacific region. 4 % are hosted in the Americas.

What countries host the largest number of refugees?

Turkey (2.5 m), Pakistan (1.6 m), Lebanon (1.1 m), Iran (980,000), Ethiopia (736,000), Jordan (664,000), Kenya (554,000), Uganda (477,000), D.R. Congo (383,000) and Chad (370,000)

host the most refugees in the world.

What countries received the most resettled refugees in 2015?

A tiny fraction of the world’s refugee population was resettled in 2015 (less than 1 %). 33 countries received a total of 107,100 refugees for resettlement. The USA received 62 % of resettled refugees (66,500). Other leading countries of resettlement included Canada (20,000), Australia (9,400) and Norway (2,400).

The percentage of the people that return to their homes is about or less than 1 % per year.

The average period of displacement is 17 years.

What does the Bible have to say about refugees and forcibly displaced people?

More than you think. The Bible is a story of refugees and forcibly displaced people. In the beginning we see the first forcibly displaced people who were made to leave paradise, and at the end we see Saint John the Apostle persecuted to the Greek island of Patmos. All the more important people from the Bible at one point experienced persecution: Moses, King David, the prophets, Jesus and his parents, the apostles.

The refugees are more than just a number. Each statistic represent a name, face, heart and soul – a priceless life.

Their lives are more than just stories of suffering and loss. Those are stories of courage, resourcefulness, and resistance. People who are forced to travel the route of persecution deserve our respect. If this overview of facts about refugees touched you, step forward. See where there are chances to volunteer or help refugees integrate into society. Offer them a hand of friendship. Invite them into your home and ask them about their story. Pray for and with them.


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