Refugee crisis briefing
More people have been forcibly displaced from their homes than at any time since World War ll. The IRC responds to some of the world's worst crises, delivering aid that saves lives while paving the way for long-term recovery.
What is the source of the crisis?
"2018 was a devastating year for millions around the world, with more people displaced from their homes than ever before," says Bob Kitchen, the IRC’s vice president for emergencies.
Since civil war exploded inside Syria in 2011, millions of people have fled their homes.
Economic collapse in Venezuela has driven at least 4 million people from the country.
Gang violence in Central America is pushing families seeking safety to the U.S. border.
Somalia has been plagued by ongoing conflict and life-threatening droughts for decades.
South Sudan has been in the grip of civil war since it gained independence from Sudan in 2012.
Yemen has also been embroiled in a bitter civil war, which has left 24 million people in need of aid.
These are just a few of the crises driving historic displacement at a time when the United States is denying assistance and safety to refugees and asylum-seekers.
How is the IRC helping?
The IRC is the only international aid organization working on all fronts of the crisis.
In the Syria region: Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon: More than 2,000 IRC aid workers and local volunteers operating inside Syria and in three neighboring countries have reached millions Syrians fleeing violence with emergency relief and long-term support. We're focusing on health care, protection of vulnerable women and children, education, and economic recovery and development.
In Afghanistan: The IRC has worked inside Afghanistan for nearly three decades and currently reaches over 4 million people in more than 4,000 communities, focusing on community-driven reconstruction projects and education. We also provide emergency relief to people who have been forced to flee their homes by violence.
In Europe: The IRC was one of the first aid organizations to assist the thousands of refugees arriving each day on the Greek island, Lesbos. IRC aid workers continue to work around the clock in Greece, Serbia and Italy to provide essential services, including clean water and sanitation, to families living in terrible conditions. And we are helping new arrivals navigate the confusing transit process and understand their legal rights. In Germany, we are helping refugees integrate into their new communities. Learn more about refugees in Europe.
In the United States: The IRC has 26 offices across the country that resettle refugees. We are also assisting families seeking asylum at the southern U.S. border. We provide immediate aid to refugees, including food and shelter, as well as access to the tools of self-reliance: housing, job placement and employment skills, clothing, medical attention, education, English-language classes and community orientation. We're also calling for U.S. leaders to do more after the Trump administration put a travel ban in place and slashed refugee admissions to record lows. Learn more about refugees in America.
How can I help refugees?
Add your name and join us to welcome refugees to all communities. The IRC will share the letter with refugees in our offices around the world.
More ways to help
Learn more about ways to help refugees and asylum seekers.