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12th country in the world. There are 120 million refugees worldwide.

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3 minutes

June 20 is World Refugee Day. It is a day for up to 120 million people around the world – if refugees formed their own country, it would be the 12th most populous country in the world. More than half of them are internally displaced persons. Additionally, 75% of those who were forced to flee beyond their country’s borders found refuge in a neighboring country.

If refugees created their own country, it would have almost as many inhabitants as Japan. The number of refugees is continuously increasing: a year ago, it was estimated at 110 million people. The main causes are the crisis in the Gaza Strip and the continued displacement due to the shifting frontlines in Ukraine.

Refugees primarily seek safety for themselves and their families. Contrary to common narratives, they usually seek it as close as possible: in a slightly calmer region of their own country, or in the nearest neighboring country. The best example of this is the Ukrainian refugees, most of whom have fled to western Ukraine and neighboring countries, primarily Poland, says Małgorzata Olasińska-Chart. We help refugees in Iraq, Ukraine, Syria, and the Gaza Strip, focusing on medical assistance for groups particularly vulnerable to humanitarian crises, including people with disabilities and mothers and children.

The Gaza Strip has currently become an enclave for refugees. More than 80% of the people there have been forced to leave their homes (or subsequent shelters) in the past few months. Continuous displacement and the threat from both bombings and the lack of food and water significantly affect those who have been living in the conflict zone for 9 months.

After further forced displacements and evacuations, we hear: we feel like objects, we have lost the sense that we control our own lives, adds Jakub Belina-Brzozowski. This also applies to those who provide help on the ground. Most of the medics and humanitarian workers in Gaza are Palestinians, who live and die there every day.

The countries from which the largest number of refugees originate have remained almost the same for years: they include Syria, Afghanistan, Venezuela, and Palestine. For the past three years, Ukraine has also been among them. Among the countries to which refugees flee, three Middle Eastern countries dominate: Iran, Turkey, and Jordan. According to World Bank forecasts, by 2050, the number of refugees may increase to 216 million people.



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