The plight of Syrian refugees has taken center stage in 2017. The horrors of Aleppo continue to shock the world and urges us all to do more to help ease the suffering. We must invest in providing opportunities and services that are urgently needed by Syrian refugees and other refugees around the world. Ethnic tensions, political strife, famine, climate change, and terrorism have forced millions of people from every corner of the world to flee their homes, communities and countries. With World Refugee Day just around the corner, there are a few things you need to know about refugees around the world:
- Last year more people in the Democratic Republic of Congo were displaced due to conflict than Syria. (TWEET THIS)
In 2016, 922,000 people were displaced in the Democratic Republic of Congo due to conflict compared to the 824,000 in Syria. In fact, Sub-Saharan Africa surpassed the Middle East as the region with the most conflict affected displacements in 2016.
- 50 percent of refugees, internally displaced, or stateless populations are women and girls. (TWEET THIS)
UN Women reports that, today, 50 percent of the world’s refugees are women and girls. Women are often the first responders when crisis hits yet their voices are often left out of policies and that are designed to protect them. In addition to poverty and other issues that all refugees may face, women refugees have an added layer of oppression that is caused by marginalization, sexualized and gender based violence, and child marriage.
3. The largest refugee camp in the world is in Uganda. (TWEET THIS)
South Sudan has been in major crisis since the beginning of 2017. Ethnic tensions and government strife have created a famine that is causing hundreds of thousands of refugees to flee over the border into Uganda. The UN refugee agency now says that Bidi Bidi, the refugee camp in Uganda, now hosts more than 270 thousand refugees.
- Refugees are educated and have skills relevant to many markets around the world. (TWEET THIS)
There is common myth floating around that refugees are uneducated, unskilled and would be a burden to any new economy in which they hope to relocate. While some refugees might have never had the chance to gain formal education, many are highly educated and highly skilled. In fact, late last year, Turkey barred over 1,000 highly educated refugees from leaving and relocating in other countries in an attempt to keep them in their country. Hundreds of thousands of refugees around the world contribute to their local economies as highly skilled workers.
Throughout the years, Women for Women International has been able to witness firsthand the dangers and obstacles faced by refugees. They have barely escaped war, and many refugee women face threats of gender-based sexual violence and early marriage in their pursuit of safety.
In 2017, Women for Women International pledged to expand our program to help more Syrian refugees but we have been working with refugees and internally displaced people since the organization was founded nearly 25 years ago. In the face of the latest refugee crisis, we will continue our life-changing and transformative work to help the courageous women and families escaping violence, in one of the gravest humanitarian emergencies of our time, rebuild their lives.
Women for Women International is dedicated to working with the most marginalized women in communities impacted by war and crisis. Now is a time of crisis in many countries around the world as families are forced to uproot and leave their homes due to war and insecurity. We cannot turn our backs on them.
Join us as we stand in solidarity with refugees:
- Share our tweets and help us spread the truth about the global refugee crisis.
- Sponsor a sister and help us support refugees and internally displaced people in the countries we work in to continue our life-changing and transformative work.Thanks to a generous anonymous donor, your gift will be matched up to $100,000 to support refugees and women survivors of war.