Around the world, 79.5 million people have been forcibly displaced. That’s the most since World War II, according to the U.N. Refugee Agency (UNHCR). Since most people remain displaced within their home country, how many refugees are there in the world? About 26 million people worldwide have fled to other countries as refugees. Another 4.2 million people have applied for refugee status, but not received it yet. More than half of refugees are children.
Here are the top three countries of origin that account for the most refugees in the world today.
1. Syria — 6.7 million refugees and asylum-seekers
Most Syrians who are refugees because of the Syrian war remain in the Middle East. Turkey hosts 3.6 million, the largest number of refugees hosted by any country in the world. Syrian refugees are also in Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq. During 2018, 1.4 million refugees returned home to Syria. Returnees face a daunting situation, including lack of infrastructure and services and danger from explosive devices. About 6.2 million Syrians remain displaced inside the country.
2. Venezuela — 4.5 million refugees, asylum-seekers, and people displaced abroad
Years of economic and political instability in Venezuela caused millions of Venezuelans to leave the country between 2014 and the end of 2019. They migrate to seek food, work, and a better life, most of them to nearby countries. Many Venezuelans on the move lack legal status and need international protection and aid.
World Vision provides assistance to Venezuelan migrants in Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. In Venezuela, we are working through partner organizations to make life better for children and families.
3. Afghanistan — 2.7 million refugees
About 2.7 million people from Afghanistan are living as refugees, representing the second-largest refugee population in the world. Pakistan hosts nearly 1.4 million, including some second- or third-generation Afghan refugees who have never lived in their home country. Some have been forced to return home from neighboring countries, but increased violence in Afghanistan since 2015 has led to a new surge of asylum-seekers. More than 4 million Afghans are displaced within the country due to conflict, drought, and other natural disasters.
How you can help refugees:
- Pray for mothers, fathers, and children who struggle to survive as refugees.
- Give to SEMA US to help provide for their medical needs.