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Year in review

What you wanted to know about refugees and crises in 2019

Read some of our most popular articles of the year.

Over 70 million people around the world are displaced from their homes by crisis—the highest number ever recorded. However, many countries, including the United States, have responded with policies that shut their doors to refugees and asylum seekers looking for a safe haven.

But as Rescue.org's top stories of 2019 make clear, there are many people eager to learn more about the world's most difficult crises and what they can do to help. Read some of our most popular articles of 2019 to revisit the biggest stories related to refugees and humanitarian crises this year.

10. How to treat children for malnutrition

Over 50 million children around the world suffer from acute malnutrition and 80 percent of them do not have access to treatment. The International Rescue Committee has developed several solutions for malnutrition that together can save children’s lives.

Malnutrition isn’t just hunger. It’s a life-threatening condition that can rob children of the opportunity to live full, healthy and productive lives.

9. What it’s like to reunite with your family after 15 years in a refugee camp

After escaping war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nadine was eagerly awaiting the arrival of her parents and siblings to the U.S. After the Trump Administration slashed refugee arrivals and their long-planned flight was cancelled—four times—they were finally reunited this year.

8. Which are the most dangerous places to be a girl

Adolescent girls around the world are at risk of violence, discrimination and lack of equal opportunities. Their lives can be particularly tough in countries affected by conflict and displacement. IRC violence-prevention experts explain which countries are the most dangerous for girls.

Malian refugee girls in Niger

Niger has the highest percentage of girls married before 18; on average, 1 in 5 adolescent girls give birth before age 18.

Photo: Peter Biro/IRC

7. Why Venezuelans are leaving their country

Latin America is facing its largest-ever refugee crisis, as millions leave Venezuela for nearby Colombia and other neighboring countries in order to access food and basic medical care. Find out what you need to know about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Venezuela.

At least 4 million Venezuelans have crossed the border into Colombia to seek refuge and that number continues to rise.

6. How to help asylum seekers in the U.S.

The news in 2019 was full of images of parents and children who had made a desperate journey to the U.S. after fleeing violence and persecution in Central America. From donations to phone calls to Congress, find out how you can help asylum seekers at the U.S. border.

Families fleeing violence and persecution travel to the United States border because they are absolutely desperate and must escape, despite the dangers of the journey.

5. How Syrian mothers raise resilient daughters  

For refugee mothers who have fled conflict, a bright future for their children seems out of reach—but they bravely fight for it, every single day. Read more about how Syrian mothers in Jordan are raising their daughters to be strong, hopeful and resilient young women.

Ola poses with her daugher Taima’a

“I’m proud of my daughter’s character,” Ola says “She is a strong-willed girl. If she gets something in her head, she will do it.”

4. How the war in Yemen affects women and girls

From airstrikes to cholera and malnutrition, few people in Yemen are spared from the effects of nearly five years of war, but women and girls are affected disproportionately. Read about four ways the conflict in Yemen has impacted women and girls.

Nearly a half-decade of conflict in Yemen has led to the worst humanitarian crisis in the world.

3. How the IRC and Sesame Workshop are bringing education to refugee children

Although half of the world’s refugees are children, less than three percent of humanitarian funding goes toward education. Learn how the IRC is working with Sesame Workshop to give millions of children in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq the support they need to learn, grow and thrive.

Five-year-old Hiba and her family fled Syria and now lives in Jordan.

Beyond literacy and numeracy, the IRC and Sesame Workshop will help children develop social and emotional skills necessary to succeed and cope with challenges.

2. Why America should take in more refugees

2019 marked the third year in a row that the Trump Administration set the lowest refugee admissions ceiling in the history of the modern refugee resettlement program. Learn why the U.S. should do more to offer safe haven to refugees.

A man holds an American flag.

The United States has long offered safe haven to people fleeing violence, tyranny and persecution.

1. Whether it’s legal to cross the U.S. border to seek asylum

People seeking safety at the U.S. border have the right to request asylum without being criminalized, turned back, or separated from their children. The Trump Administration continues to issue policies that separate families, make the asylum process more difficult, and forcibly return asylum seekers—including women and children—to dangerous conditions in Mexico to wait for their claims to be processed.

The IRC and its local partners are providing food, water, basic medical assistance, legal counseling, clothing and overnight shelter to people who have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border to seek safety. Go inside a welcome center for asylum seekers in Phoenix, Arizona.