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Press Release

IRC: 26 Million Refugees Missing from Sustainable Development Goals

Efforts to “End Poverty in All its Forms” Fail to Include Millions of the Most Impoverished

A new report from the International Rescue Committee indicates that the world’s refugee population is absent from the Sustainable Development Goals, despite having increased more than 20% since the SDGs were adopted in 2015. The report also reveals that:

  • Less than one-third of country SDG progress reports mention refugees
  • No country is reporting on refugee socio-economic data
  • No country is reporting on refugees’ progress toward the SDGs
  • Progress reports from 10 of the major refugee hosting countries do not address refugees

“The SDGs will not be achieved if 26 million refugees are missing entirely and hundreds of millions of people in fragile states are left behind,” said David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee. “Leaders meeting this week need to fess up to the scale of the challenge not bask in self-congratulation. There need to be concrete steps of course correction or more people will be left behind.” 

According to the IRC, major SDG stakeholders – UN countries, agencies and donors – should include refugees and people caught in crisis in the preparation and implementation of development plans, and the collection and publishing of data and analyses that allows for comparisons between refugee and host populations. Stakeholders also should remove policy barriers and scale up interventions that improve refugees’ well-being alongside national populations.

To learn more, visit www.rescue.org/missingpersons

About the IRC

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 26 offices across the U.S. helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future, and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.