“We are witnessing a changed reality in that forced displacement nowadays is not only vastly more widespread but is simply no longer a short-term and temporary phenomenon.” ~ Filippo Grandi UN High Commissioner for Refugees
In the infographic below from UNHCR Global Trends Forced Displacements in 2019 report, we summarize the countries which are currently hosting the most refugees. According to the report, 68% of refugees originated from just five countries, namely Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar.
Turkey is home to by far the largest amount of refugees at 3.6 million. Colombia, a neighbour of crisis-hit Venezuela hosts the second-largest amount – 1.8 million. Germany hosted the third-largest number, almost 1.5 million, with Syrian refugees and asylum-seekers constituting the largest groups (42%). Pakistan hosts 1.4 million refugees, mostly from Afghanistan.
The Islamic Republics of Iran and Pakistan continue to host 87 percent of Afghan refugees. This represents a decrease from 96 percent at the start of the decade, as a number of countries, especially in Europe, now host Afghan refugees (Germany hosts 140,000, for example).
According to the UNHCR report, GLOBAL TRENDS FORCED DISPLACEMENT IN 2019, Pakistan brings some heartwarming success stories for the people from Afghanistan who took refuge in Pakistan and going on to become medical doctors.
The three most common countries of asylum hosted people almost exclusively from one single country: Turkey, with 3.6 million Syrians; Colombia, with 1.8 million Venezuelans; and Pakistan, with 1.4 million Afghans.
Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau issued a statement on World Refugee Day and stated, “For a second year, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees’ Global Trends report shows that Canada is a leader in terms of refugee response and support and is the number one resettlement country globally. As Canadians, we are proud to open our hearts, homes, and communities to refugees.
“Through good times and bad, our country has strived to be a beacon of hope for the world’s most vulnerable. Today, I call on Canadians and people around the globe to stand with those fleeing hardship and violence. All countries share a moral responsibility to help refugees and forcibly displaced people find shelter and start their lives anew.”
Research commissioned in 2019 by UNHCR in Canada shows that refugees are creating jobs for themselves and other Canadians, with almost 1 in 7 refugees self-employed or business owners. Refugees are on average just over 11 years younger than those born in Canada, which means they are more likely to be of working-age, with many years to contribute. Notably, the research proved that 20 years after being resettled to Canada, refugees were contributing more in income tax than they received in public benefits and services.
Cover Photo: M Selcuk Oner / Shutterstock.com