A refugee is a person who has been forced to flee or leave their home country in order to escape persecution, natural disasters, or conflict. Refugees who are in fear of facing persecution feel that way for reasons of race, religion, nationality, politics, or membership in a particular social group.
According to Amnesty InternationalThere are currently an estimated 25.9 million refugees around the world, the highest ever recorded. Half of today’s refugees are children. 1.4 million of today’s especially vulnerable refugees urgently need resettlement. In addition to refugees seeking asylum in other countries, there are also internally displaced people (IDPs)
Unfortunately, the majority of today’s refugees, approximately 80%, are resettling in developing countries with already limited resources. Wealthier, developed states to prioritize policies allowing and encouraging refugees to seek asylum, instead of continuing to deter them.
The ten host countries with the highest number of refugees are:
- Turkey (3.7 million)
- Jordan (2.9 million)
- Lebanon (1.4 million)
- Pakistan (1.4 million)
- Uganda (1.1 million)
- Germany (1 million)
- Iran (979,400)
- Ethiopia (921.00)
- Sudan (908,700)
- Bangladesh (906,600)
Because refugees seek asylum due to specific causes, such as violence, war, and persecution, there are specific countries that are generating more refugees than others. The seven countries of origin that account for the most refugees in the world today are:
- Syria (6.7 million)
- Afghanistan (2.7 million)
- South Sudan (2.3 million)
- Myanmar (1.1 million)
- Somalia (900,000)
- Sudan (725,000)
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo (720,300)
Due to the Syrian Civil War, Syria is the origin of the most refugees in the world. Most 6.7 million Syrian refugees are still in the Middle East, hosted by Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq. Millions are still displaced within the country.
Other countries on this list, such as South Sudan, have also produced refugees as a result of conflict. Others have faced other issues, such as food insecurity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo or droughts and natural disasters in Afghanistan (in addition to conflict).