Do you feel overwhelmed watching the news? Do you feel like you will never understand what is happening in the Middle East?

 
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If you answered “yes,” don’t worry! We feel this way too. There is so much information available and it is difficult to know where to begin. That’s why we created this short, concise guide to help you understand what’s happening in the part of the world where we work.

Below you will find some of the information most relevant to the work we do everyday. It is framed in response to the questions people ask most frequently about the context of our work. We hope you find this helpful. Please feel free to reach out with any additional questions you have.

Disclaimer: This is not a comprehensive analysis of the political, religious, social, ethnic, nationalistic, linguistic, and historical elements that have influenced and continue to influence the region. We are not the only or ultimate source of information on these complex issues and we encourage you to research, read, and engage in conversations surrounding these issues.

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We are experiencing the highest number of displaced people in all of history.

What does the term “Displaced People” Actually Mean?

Displaced people are those who have been forced to flee their homes due to persecution, violence, or war. This includes:

  • Refugees: Those who have crossed an international border and are now displaced in a country that is not their own;

  • Internally displaced persons (otherwise known as IDPs): Those who have remained in their home country but are displaced in a region or area that is not their own; and

  • Asylum Seekers: Those who have entered another country and applied for asylum, i.e. the right to international protection, in this other country.

 

How many people in the world are displaced?

We are experiencing the highest number of displaced persons in all of history.

68.5 million people are displaced worldwide, including:

  • 40 million internally displaced persons;

  • 25.4 million refugees; and

  • 3.1 million asylum seekers.

 

Where do displaced people go when they flee?

Most displaced will remain in the region from which they fled.

85% of displaced people are being hosted by a developing nation.

Only 1% of registered refugees are resettled in a third country such as the UK, US, or Canada.

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On average, displaced people will remain displaced for 26 years.

 

How long do displaced people remain displaced?

The majority of the world’s refugees are in a protracted refugee situation (defined as one in which at least 25,000 people are displaced for 5 years or more).

On average, a displaced person in a protracted refugee situation will remain displaced for 26 years.

 

Who helps displaced people?

 There are several entities that aid displaced people, including:

  • Host governments;

  • The United Nations, specifically the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR);

  • International non-governmental organizations (NGOs); and

  • Grassroots and community-led organizations.

 

Where do displaced people live after they flee?

Displaced people either live in:

  • Refugee and IDP camps, which are administered by the host government, the UN, and other international organizations;

  • Private settings outside camps, such as apartment rentals; or

  • Critical shelter arrangements, such as unfinished buildings, abandoned buildings, schools, and religious buildings.

 
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Refugee and IDP camps were created to be a short-term solution, but most displaced people today will remain displaced for a long period of time, and therefore need a long-term solution to displacement.

Why do some displaced people live outside camps?

Refugee and IDP camps were created to be a short-term solution, but most displaced people today will remain displaced for a long period of time, and therefore need a long-term solution to displacement.

Shelters in camps are often informal structures, such as tents or converted shipping containers.

Most camps are significantly overcrowded.

Camps are typically situated far away from any city or town, making it very difficult to find work.

Without work, displaced people within the camps remain dependent on aid distributed by the camp administrators.

Some camps do not allow residents to leave or work.

 

How many displaced people are in Iraq?

Over 3 million Iraqis are internally displaced within Iraq. 

250,000 Syrian refugees are displaced within Iraq.

 

Where do displaced people in Iraq live?

The majority of internally displaced Iraqis are living in private settings (over 1.8 million) and over 680,000 are in camps. More than 470,000 continue living in critical shelter arrangements.

The majority of Syrian refugees are living in private settings (about 157,500) and around 92,400 are in camps.

 
 

Who does HOPE + FUTURE serve?

HOPE + FUTURE International serves Iraqi IDPs and Syrian refugees living outside camps, either in private settings or critical shelter arrangements, in Northern Iraq.

 

Do you have any questions? No problem! Contact us using the link below and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.