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

  • 25.9 million refugees globally -- the highest level ever recorded
  • Half of the world's refugees are children
  • A third of refugees -- 6.7 million people -- are hosted by the world's poorest countries
People seeking safety worldwide in numbers. 25.9 million refugees, 1.4 people need resettlement. 85% of refugees are hosted in developing regions. People seeking safety worldwide in numbers. 25.9 million refugees, 1.4 people need resettlement. 85% of refugees are hosted in developing regions.
Statistics about the refugee crisis around the world.

Approximately 1.4 million refugees, who are at particular risk of violence and are for other reasons especially vulnerable, urgently need to be permanently resettled. But only 92,400 refugees were resettled in 2018, less than 7 percent of those awaiting resettlement.

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.

World's top refugee host countries. Turkey, Jordan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Uganda, Germany, Iran, Ethiopia, Sudan, Bangladesh World's top refugee host countries. Turkey, Jordan, Pakistan, Lebanon, Uganda, Germany, Iran, Ethiopia, Sudan, Bangladesh
The world's top 10 refugee host countries.

There were 1.1 million new refugees in 2018, most of them fleeing conflict in Syria, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo.

Violence, insecurity, persecution and shortages of food, medicine and other basics, have prompted millions of Venezuelans to leave their country. By the first five months of 2019, about 4 million Venezuelans had left their homes in one of the world’s biggest displacement crises. More than 460,000 Venezuelans have sought asylum but to date only a small fraction -- some 21,000 people -- have been recognized as refugees.

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.

 

who hosts the most refugees per 1000 inhabitants. who hosts the most refugees per 1000 inhabitants.
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/