The world's refugees in numbers
© Giorgos Moutafis/Amnesty International

The world's refugees in numbers

The Global Solidarity Crisis

Many powerful politicians and influential media might give the impression that rich countries, particularly in the West, are doing more than enough to help people fleeing war and persecution. But in reality, the picture looks very different.

The international community, and in particular wealthy nations, are failing to meaningfully share the responsibility for protecting people who have fled their homes in search of safety. In other words, they are failing to agree on and support a fair and predictable system for protecting people forced to leave everything behind because of violence and persecution.

Instead, lower- and middle-income countries are doing much more than their fair share -- hosting more than double the number of refugees that high-income countries are.

Refugees around the world - facts and figures

  • There are 26 million refugees globally 
  • Half of the world's refugees are children
  • 85% of refugees are being hosted in developing countries
Statistics about the refugee crisis around the world.

In 2019, more than two-thirds of all refugees came from just five countries: Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar. Syria has been the main country of origin for refugees since 2014 and at the end of 2019, there were 6.6 million Syrian refugees hosted by 126 countries worldwide.

In 2019, only half a per cent of the world’s refugees were resettled. Over the past decade, just over 1 million refugees were resettled, compared to 3.9 million refugees who returned to their country.

Wealthier countries aren’t doing nearly enough to share the cost of protecting people who have left everything behind. Appeals for humanitarian assistance for refugees are consistently – and often severely – underfunded.

In short, the world urgently needs a new, global plan based on genuine international cooperation and a meaningful and fair sharing of responsibilities.

The world's top 10 refugee host countries.

Violence, insecurity, persecution and shortages of food, medicine and other basics, have prompted around 3.7 million Venezuelans to leave their country.

Many wealthier states continue to prioritize policies that will deter people from seeking asylum, and finding ways to stop people coming altogether. At the same time, they are putting the onus on nearby countries to protect people fleeing for their lives. Such restrictive and short-sighted policies are forcing women, men and children to take dangerous land and sea journeys, putting their lives at risk and fuelling human rights abuses.

 

A graphic depicting the number of refugees per 1000 residents in several countries around the world.

Amnesty International’s I Welcome global campaign is pushing for countries to agree a global and fairer system for protecting refugees and other people in need of international protection. Find out more here: https://www.amnesty.org/en/get-involved/i-welcome/