Supporting refugees

Arda lives in a temporary home in Turkey after fleeing with her family from the conflict in Syria. CARE has been providing Syrian refugees living in villages in southern Turkey with emergency supplies including blankets, hygiene kits and food vouchers.

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There have never been more refugees and displaced people in need of support than there are today.

Around the world, a staggering 79.5 million people have had to flee from their homes because of war, persecution or instability.

That’s more than the entire population of the UK.

And it’s more than 1 per cent of the population of the world.

Globally, one in every 97 humans is now either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum.

Four out of every 10 forcibly displaced people in the world are children aged under 18 – that’s over 30 million children forced to flee from their homes and living precarious lives with little prospect of being able to return home.

(Figures June 2020 from UNHCR, the UN refugee agency)

Where do refugees live?

  • 73 per cent of refugees live in countries next to the countries they fled from.
  • 85 per cent of refugees – that’s more than 8 out of every 10 refugees – are in developing countries.
  • 80 per cent of the world’s refugees and displaced people are in places affected by acute food insecurity and malnutrition.
  • Many are in countries facing climate and other disaster risk, or experiencing long-term, ongoing conflict or instability.
  • It is getting harder and harder for displaced people to return home. More than three-quarters of the world’s refugees (77 per cent) are caught up in situations of long-term displacement. Last year only 385,000 refugees were able to return home, according to the UN Refugee Agency.
Portrait of Genesis, a woman from Venezuela
Génesis Gonzales, one of over 3 million Venezuelans who have fled their country due to instability, hunger and poverty

World Refugee Day 2020

As the global coronavirus pandemic brings even greater risk and hardship to people living in refugee and displaced people camps and communities around the world, find out how CARE and refugees are rising to the challenge:

World Refugee Day 2019: “I am a refugee”

How is CARE helping refugees and displaced people?

A child at Bentiu camp in South Sudan
A boy at Bentiu Protection of Civilians camp in South Sudan during the rainy season. CARE provides health services and water, sanitation and hygiene support to thousands of people at the camp.

CARE provides emergency support to refugees – such as people fleeing from the conflict in Syria – and to internally displaced people – such as people in South Sudan forced by conflict and violence to leave their homes and live in temporary camps in terrible conditions.

We also provide support to people to help them deal with the psychosocial effects of experiencing conflict and violence – particularly sexual and gender-based violence.

And we provide long-term support to refugee communities, and to their host communities, so that people can regain some dignity and control over their lives – such as our long-term presence providing education and other support to people who have lived for decades in the world’s largest refugee camp in Dadaab in Kenya.

Who is a refugee?

A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee their country because of persecution, war, or violence.

An internally displaced person is a person who has been forced to flee their home for the same reason as a refugee, but remains in their own country.

People who leave their homes due to natural disasters, climate change, or severe situations such as a lack of food (including famine), water, education, health care and a livelihood, are not legally recognised as refugees. But these people also need support – and CARE is there to provide it.

Make a regular donation and help CARE be there to help refugees and displaced people:

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