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DEVELOPMENT NEWS


#StepWithRefugees Will you help walk two billion kilometers to safety?


By Silvia Mateyka


Every year on June 20, World Refugee Day represents an opportunity to bring renewed focus to the plight of all people who are forced to flee their homes. On this day, the world pays tribute to the strength, courage and resilience of millions. This year, the United Nations


High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has launched a campaign to challenge people everywhere to take a ‘step with refugees’ and walk, run or cycle to achieve a cumulative total of two billion kilometers in 12 months – the same distance refugees worldwide travel each year to reach the nearest point of safety. Communities, schools, businesses, faith groups and people from all walks of life are taking big and small steps in solidarity.


Join the movement here https://stepwithrefugees.org


THE NUMBERS We are now witnessing the highest levels of displacement


on record. Yet again, wars, violence and persecution have driven record numbers of people from their homes worldwide, according to the latest annual study released by UNHCR. The data shows an unprecedented 70.8 million people around the world have been forced to leave their homes. Most people remain displaced within the borders of their home countries, but 25.9 million people worldwide have fled to other countries as refugees. More than half are children. Over half (57 percent) of UNHCR* refugees come from three countries: 6.7 million from Syria; 2.7 million from Afghanistan; and 2.3 million from South Sudan. Contrary to popular perceptions, more than 80 percent of refugees live in countries neighboring their own. Of all countries, Turkey shelters the greatest number of refugees, hosting 3.7 million. Pakistan hosts 1.4 million refugees, Uganda 1.2 million, Sudan 1.1 million and Germany 1.1 million. Lebanon and Jordan host the highest number relative to population size.


* 20.4 million refugees are under UNHCR’s mandate and 5.5 million Palestinian refugees are under UNRWA’s mandate.


70.8m 25


people around the world have been forced to flee their homes


people are forced to flee every minute, which equates to...


37,000 people fleeing every day.


REFUGEES OFID has long worked with organizations that provide assistance to refugees, most notably the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), and the UNHCR.


43 OFID AND


PHOTO: UNHCR/Andrew McConnell


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