World Refugee Day: 50 Million Displaced Around The Globe

The number of refugees trying to escape war and persecution has grown to more than 50 million people. It's the largest number since World War II.

World Refugee Day: 50 Million Displaced Around The Globe
UK Department for International Development

Fifty million — that's how many people in the world are refugees, displaced and forced to flee their homes. 

If these people were a country, its population would be the 26th highest in the world. It's the largest number of displaced people since World War II. 

June 20 is World Refugee Day. Created by the United Nations, it's a day to celebrate the courage of the mothers, fathers, sons and daughters — the men, women and children who are now homeless after escaping violence and persecution. (Via CNN, BBC)    

"We used to play ball with our father and go on swings."

"But war came to his hometown, Daraa."

"We were not allowed to leave the house because snipers would start shooting at us. They would slaughter the men." (Via NBC)

That was 7-year-old Jalal from Syria. He and his mother had to escape the war-torn country. Walking for three days, they left behind Jalal's father, who chose to stay and fight as a rebel. 

Since the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, it's estimated 9 million people have fled their homes there. (Via Migration Policy Centre)

Iraq. Eqypt. South Sudan. Turkey. Libya. And the list goes on. (Via CBS, Voice of America,The Telegraph)

According to The UN Refugee Agency, 80 percent of refugees are women and children.


"Imagine being the mother of a sick and hungry child and having to decide between risking your life staying in a conflict or leaving behind everything in search of safety. ... Millions of refugees need help all around the world — 1 family torn apart by war is too many." ​(UK Department for International Development)

"The solution is political. There is only one way to stop displacement. It's to stop conflict and to find peace. That capacity is what is lacking in today's would. But in between, people suffer." (Via United Nations)

The UN Refugee Agency's website includes a place where you can donate to provide support and supplies for refugees. According to the U.N., 32,200 people were forced to flee their homes every day in 2013.