Every year, millions of people are forced to leave their home due to conflict, violence, human rights violations, persecution and natural hazards. The number of forcibly displaced people continued to rise in 2020, calling for increased humanitarian assistance. At the end of 2020, 82.4 million people were displaced. Over two thirds of them are from Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Myanmar. Most live in urban areas followed by camps and rural areas. When a crisis erupts, internally displaced people are among the most vulnerable.

Up to 87% of the forcibly displaced are hosted in developing countries, which puts a strain on host communities and resources. Their survival depends on the availability of assistance provided by the authorities, local communities and humanitarian organisations. Both refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) often face protection challenges and lack access to shelter, food and other basic services. In urban areas in particular, they struggle with poverty, lack of psychosocial support and various challenges in normalising their legal status. Violence, abuse and exploitation against them often peak in the aftermath of new emergencies.

Finding durable solutions for the forcibly displaced is a challenge. Voluntary repatriation to their home countries is the preferred long-term outcome for refugees, but the lack of political solutions to conflicts, recurrent violence and instability prevent many from doing so. Learn more