BLOG SURF: World Refugee Day

Today is World Refugee Day, a day for us all to remember how many people are moved or displaced from their homes—either within their own country or across borders.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) just announced that there were 22.5 million refugees and 40 million displaced internally due to conflicts last year, as well as many more forced to move due to natural disasters.

Forced displacement is a crisis centered in developing countries, which host 89% of refugees and 99% of internally displaced persons. Afghanistan is a country of 34 million people. About ¾ of the country’s population has been displaced at some point over the past four decades.

With a number of conflict-affected countries in the region, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is facing a huge displacement challenge.  In 2015, over 19 million displaced people existed in the region—5 million were refugees, and 14 million were internally displaced (UNHCR 2015).