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Seven facts about refugees

12 January 2018

This Sunday marks the World Day of Migrants and Refugees. Here are seven facts you should know about displacement around the world.

Mahama refugee camp in Rwanda, home to over 50,000 refugees from neighbouring Burundi. (Photo: Alan Whelan/Trócaire)

1. Each day, an average of 28,300 people are displaced from their homes due to violence or persecution. That amounts to almost 20 people every minute of every day. 

2. Globally, there are 65,000,000 people forcibly displaced from their homes. The majority of displaced people remain within their own country's borders but 22,000,000 have sought safety in other countries as refugees. 

3. Over half of refugees (55%) worldwide come from just three countries: Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan. 

4. Of the 10 countries who host the largest number of refugees, five are in Asia or the Middle East, four are in Africa, and just one is in Europe. Turkey hosts the largest number of refugees (2.8m), followed by Pakistan (1.6m), Lebanon (1m), Iran (978,000), Ethiopia (742,700), Jordan (691,800), Kenya (523,500), Uganda (512,600), Germany (478,600) and Chad (386,100).

Somalia camp

A man walks through the huyuleh camp for displaced people in Somalia. (Photo: Amunga Eshuchi/Trócaire)

5. More than half the refugees around the globe are under the age of 18, even though children make up 31 percent of the world's population.

6. A total of 2.6 million refugees – over half the population of the Republic of Ireland – live in refugee camps. Four of the largest camps in the world are located in Kenya and are home to refugees fleeing conflict in Somalia and South Sudan. 

7. The single biggest programme Trócaire operates today is supporting people displaced by conflict in Myanmar. Trócaire works in over twenty countries and displacement is a feature of life in almost all of them – from major conflict zones such as Syria and South Sudan, to small communities being evicted off their land to make way for big business in Central America.