Over the past few years, the world has confronted the largest refugee and displacement crisis of our time. Global forced displacement is at record numbers. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reports that by the end of 2015 65.3 million individuals were forcibly displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, generalized violence or human rights violations. The crisis continues as on average 24 people worldwide are displaced from their homes every minute.
These numbers are formed of three groups – refugees, internally displaced persons (IDP’s), and asylum seekers. 21.3 million people are refugees, defined as people who have been forced to flee their country because of persecution, war, or violence. 40.8 million are internally displaced. They have fled their homes, but remain within their own country. 3.2 million are asylum-seekers who have applied for the right to be recognized as refugees and receive legal protection and material assistance.
Tragically, people have risked their lives to cross the Mediterranean Sea by boat in search of safety and protection. Since 2015, some 6,657 people died or were reported missing in the Mediterranean Sea. Sadly, children also make this journey across the sea, many unaccompanied or separated. Despite harsh weather conditions, refugees and migrants continue to brave rough waters. With the image of a small Syrian boy lying face down on a beach in Turkey, the attention of the world has become focused on the plight of refugees.
In Southeast Asia, Rohingya refugees from Bangladesh also cram boats, searching for a better life. The displaced face further difficulties in communities without clean water, adequate food, health clinics, schools, or income opportunities.
ADRA Canada has been assisting refugees in Europe, the Middle East, South-east Asia and Africa. We have also partnered with World Renew to help Syrian refugees resettle in Canada.
We invite you to join us in supporting the displaced.