The need for a sustained humanitarian commitment to the global refugee crises’

September 16, 2019

Humanitarian crises in Syria, Afghanistan, and South Sudan have displaced more than 13 million people around the world; millions have been forced to leave their homes and have not received sufficient humanitarian support.

Behind the statistics are people: mothers, fathers, children, all with dreams for their futures.

And while it is sometimes easy to switch off from what is happening around us, we cannot afford to turn a blind eye to the refugee crises’ happening around the world. As the frequency and complexity of humanitarian climate-related crises’ continue to rise, the number of people who will be forced to flee from their villages and towns will inevitably increase. In drawing attention to the almost ‘forgotten’ about refugee crises’, HAD shines a light into these areas. Only in doing this will we be able to create change. 

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

In addition to being a host to many refugees escaping violent conflict in the Central African Republic (CAR), South Sudan, and Burundi, the DRC has seen increases in internally displaced citizens, due to increased inter-ethnic fighting within its borders. Even though the civil war in the DRC ended in 2003, violence continues to plague the country. Hundreds of thousands of Congolese were forced to flee across Lake Albert into Uganda in 2018 when inter-ethnic fighting resumed in the north-eastern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri [1].

  • 5 million IDPs (as stated by OCHA, UNHCR)
  • A host to over one million refugees from neighbouring countries
  1. South Sudan

Since 2013, the brutal conflict in South Sudan has forced many families to flee their homes. Currently, 4.3 million are displaced, while 1.6 million have sought refuge in neighbouring countries. Women and children are particularly vulnerable. 63% of the refugees from South Sudan are children. These child refugees are often fleeing unaccompanied, which makes them particularly unsafe.

  • 3 million displaced as a result of conflict
  • The number of refugees fromouth Sudan has surpassed 2 million
  1. The Central African Republic (CAR)

In the CAR, conflict is rife. Despite the transition to peace in 2013, there has been renewed conflict and violence in the country. Over a quarter of the population has been displaced. 2.9 million are in urgent need of humanitarian support.

  1. Cameroon

Peaceful protests in the English-speaking regions of Cameroon started in 2016, which have now escalated into violent conflict. This conflict, between the state’s military and non-state armed groups, has left more than 450,000 people displaced. 780,000 children are without schooling and hundreds of villages have been destroyed.

  • 450,000 displaced
  • Hosting refugees from Nigeria and the CAR
  1. Ethiopia

Ethiopia, with more than 900,000 refugees and asylum-seekers seeking safety within its borders, is home to the second-largest refugee population in Africa. Moreover, with inter-communal violence and conflicts deepening since 2016, Ethiopia has more than 1 million IDPs.

  • The second-largest refugee population in Africa
  • More than one million internally displaced


The bigger picture:

While there has been a focus on countries that are receiving very little media attention in this blog post, we must not forget about all the other refugee crises’ going on around the world. Millions are displaced. There are a record 70.8 million displaced as a result of conflict, persecution or violence, according to the UNHCR

The refugee crisis is a human crisis. Behind the statistics are real people.

If you want to find out about HAD’s research priorities, click here.

You can read about HAD’s ongoing research project on forced migration and violent conflict, as well as post-ISIS Iraq analysis conducted by a PHD fellow.  

Additionally, find out how HAD’s R&D team enhances our knowledge on refugees, social justice and religion and find out how HAD has been building the capacities of Syrian NGOs responding to the crisis.

Written by Charlotte Davies 

Marketing and Communications Intern

Further reading:

Mercy Corps. The world’s 5 biggest refugee crises

Dw., 2019. Forgotten children: Europe’s failure in the refugee crisis

Care. Global Refugee Crisis