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1. The number of refugees has been increasing exponentially, continually breaking historical records

In 2015, the number of people displaced by war or conflict reached an all-time high after World War II, settling at 15.5 million people. This number has been increasing exponentially, reaching 27.1 million in 2021 . 

Ucranianos esperam comboio para sair do país. Pavlo Palamarchuk/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images
Venezuelanos na fronteira com a Colômbia-NYTimes/Ramsey-Sanchez-Garzoli.jpg

2. If all the people forced to move formed one country, it would be the 14th most populous nation in the world

In 2022, a new record was reached of over 100 million people forced to flee their homes due to war, conflict, persecution or adverse conditions. Adding the displaced people of the year 2022, mainly with the conflict in Ukraine, a hypothetical country of people forced to displace would be the 14th most populous nation in the world. For reference, Portugal is currently in 87th place. 

3. Almost 70% of refugees and displaced people come from   only from 5 countries

More than half of all refugees in the world originate from 5 countries . Syria continues to have one of the populations most affected by the war, generating more than 6.8 million refugees, followed by Venezuela with more than 4 million. Afghanistan follows with 2.7 million refugees, South Sudan with 2.4 million and Myanmar with 2.4 million.

Although there are no official figures for Ukraine, it is estimated to have more than 7  millions of displaced people. 

refugiados palestinianos à espera para distribuição de comida - UNWRA
Mulher síria segura criança em campo no Curdistão iraquiano. 2019. UNHCR/Hossein Fatemi

4. Turkey is the country that receives the most refugees

In 2021, Turkey hosted 3.8 million refugees , being the country that welcomes the most refugees. Colombia follows with 1.8 million, Pakistan with 1.5 million, as well as Uganda. Germany hosts 1.3 million. With the crisis in Ukraine, it is estimated that Poland receives about 4 million refugees, thus moving to the top of the table. 

5. 83% of refugees are hosted in low- or middle-income countries, considered to be developing

The vast majority of refugees in the world are hosted by countries considered to be developing, located in the global South. Only 17% of refugees are in high-income countries

Crianças refugiadas rohingya no Bangladesh esperam para comer. UNHCR/Roger Arnold.jpg
Campo refugiados no Líbano.TheNewArab

6. Lebanon and Aruba have the highest concentrations of refugees per capita

In Lebanon, for every thousand inhabitants there are 134 refugees and in Aruba there are 156 . This large concentration of people causes great difficulties for these countries as they do not have adequate structures, services and resources. By contrast, in Portugal refugees make up around 0.02% of the national population. 

7. The rate of admission of applications for international protection in the EU is 35%

In 2021, EU countries received 617,800 asylum applications, of which 35% were admitted , 117,500 with refugee status and 63,000 with temporary protection. Still pending, 442,500 requests. 

Crianças olham para autoridades na fronteira da Polónia com a Bielorússia. 2021. AFP /Maxim GUCHEK

8. Worldwide, 1 in 88 people has been forced to flee their home

The high number of refugees in the world can be easily perceived knowing that 1 in 88 people worldwide has been forced to flee their home due to wars, conflicts, persecutions or catastrophes. 

9. Almost half of all refugees are children

Worldwide, 13 million refugees are minors,   making up 42% of the total number of refugees. Of these 13 million, half are unable to attend school, especially in secondary school.  

Crianças refugiadas na RDC. 2018. UNHCR/Colin Delfosse
Família iraquiana foge após tomada de Mosul. 2016. UNHCR/Ivor Prickett

10. There are currently more than 30 active crisis or conflict zones in the world

Most humanitarian emergencies are long-term, forcing millions of people to flee in the face of escalating violence. There are  32 crisis zones identified by the UNHCR , with Ukraine, Afghanistan and the Sahel being the areas of greatest concern.   

11. Refugees wait an average of 20 years to be resettled in third countries

20 years of waiting is the average for each refugee who wants to have a safe life and needs to be resettled to a third country, because his life is at risk or due to lack of conditions in the host country.

Gree/Gordon Welters
Bebé refugiado da RDC. UNHCR/Antonia Vadala

12 . More than 1.5 million children were born in a situation of forced displacement

Between 2018 and 2021, more than 1.5 million children were born in a situation of forced displacement. Many of them will remain at risk of exile for many years and some for their entire lives.

13. Less than 1% of refugees are able to be resettled to a safe country per year

Each year, less than 1% of the most vulnerable refugees   manage to be resettled to a third country, to be able to be safe and well-being, or in the most vulnerable cases to be able to survive. In 2021, only 57,500 refugees had the opportunity to be resettled to a safe third country.

Família síria com dois bebés é escoltada para fronteira da Sérvia. 2015. UNHCR/Mark Henley
Embarcação chega a Lesbos, Grécia. UNHCR/Ivor Prickett

14. About 49,000 people died on crossings in search of safety

The difficulty in being able to be resettled leads thousands of people to embark on extremely dangerous and unsatisfactory journeys, falling into criminal trafficking networks and leading to the loss of many lives . Women and girls are particularly at risk of being victims of gender and sexual violence on these crossings. Since 2014, it is estimated that more than 49,000 people have died or disappeared at sea. 

15. If all refugee women had access to employment, they could generate more than 1 trillion dollars

Many refugees face barriers to inclusion in local economies, and these are even greater for women. Only 6% of refugee women are in the labor market.
Investing in economic opportunities for refugee women can help close the gaps in poverty, gender equality and inclusive work – all while boosting local and global economies.

Naima Ismail é refugiada e presidente da Associação das Mulheres da Somália na Malásia. UNHCR/Patricia Krivanek
Venezuelanos na fila para comer na Colômbia. UNHCR/Vincent Tremeau

16. $10 billion would be needed to cover assistance to refugees worldwide

Many of the biggest humanitarian crises such as Afghanistan, Yemen and Sudan received less than a third of the funding needed to support the affected population. The lack of funding jeopardizes essential programs to provide the population with essential goods for their survival. It is estimated that more than $1.85 billion is needed for the crisis in Ukraine alone.

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