Life on the Run – Understanding the Refugee Crisis

Vision News , June-2020      4 min read

In the last few years, war and conflict has led to a refugee crisis that has yet to abate. Refugees are often met with discrimination and distrust in the countries that take them in. To mark World Refugee Day in June, we’d like to shed some light on refugees and how we can help these people on the run.


Who are Refugees?


The United Nations (UN) defines Refugees as ‘people who have been forced to flee their home country because of war, persecution, or violence’. Here are a few fast facts about refugees:


  • As of January 2019, 70.8 million people have been forced to flee their homes
  • Two-thirds of refugees come from Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar, and Somalia
  • Low- and middle-income countries host more than 85% of the world’s refugees


Source: UN


Children make up half of the world’s refugees, and bear lasting scars from the tragedies they have experienced; many have lost friends and family. Refugees who reach a safe haven must adjust to life in a new place, working through their trauma while worrying about basics like food and clean water. Refugee children are at high risk of falling behind in their education.



A fearful pandemic


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, refugee communities must now cope with the same health fears we live with every day.


Take Ahmad, 38 and Dalia, 35. They fled Syria for a better future, but refugee life in Lebanon has been a struggle for them and their children. Ahmad can’t find work, and Dalia can’t even afford milk for her infant child.


That’s why the family is taking no chances with COVID-19. The children stay inside their tent while Ahmad spends his day guarding the door. “We’re barely living now, can you imagine getting sick as well?” he explains. “If one person catches it, we’re all doomed”.

How does World Vision help refugees?


World Vision coordinates with governments and aid organisations to help those affected by crises. We work in nearly 100 countries, allowing us to meet the needs of displaced people wherever they are. For instance, we help Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey while restoring health services in Syria and helping children there go back to school.



How can I help?


The countries where most refugees hail from are called fragile contexts, where governments cannot (or will not) protect the rights of their people. Those in fragile contexts are deprived of basic necessities like food and healthcare. While community development in fragile contexts is often not an option, World Vision strives to meet the needs of children and families living in these dark places.


Through our Save Fragile Lives fund, you can help vulnerable children and families in countries like Syria access food, shelter and other aid, while supporting long-term work like child-friendly spaces and education.

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