What It’s Like to Be a Refugee in Syria

Can you imagine how the world can be so unforgiving and brutal? Civil wars and revolutions break out all the time. There are 21.3 million refugees around the world, more than half of them under the age of 18. You can help. How? By being proactive, not idly receiving unfortunate news from all over the world.

Examine Hassan, a Syrian refugee in Lebanon which is now home to more Syrians than any other nation. He is living in a tent with his wife three sons and two daughters. At the first crack of dawn, he wakes up on his baby boy’s hungry screams and so begins thus journey of misery.

Life here is primitive; people barely survive on limited resources. Camping in remote places in the countryside and no future, but they are optimistic. Children play around the tents, and women cook and boil water above small fires.

Hassan’s main concern is how he will feed his family. He cannot ask for help from neighboring tents because their situation is the same. They are all in the same boat. They are sticking together like one big family.

Life is expensive; since there are no official camps in Lebanon. Hassan must pay for renting the land where he camps, electricity, water, and other services. There are not enough jobs in these circumstances. Hassan is merely surviving and lacks any certainty in a bright future.

Luckily, some charity organizations are trying to teach Hassan skills he can use to earn his money. Hassan’s wife also goes to a nearby farm to pick and clean vegetables as a day job. Everyone is busy at the camp, building and struggling to improve their quality of life even for a little bit.

Do you know what is sadder? Because Hassan has no job or money, he and everyone is a camp, get their food in debt, and sometimes get paid in food for their work instead of money. Moreover, he has to pay for healthcare for his son who was injured in an attack when they were fleeing their country. Hassan could hardly provide for his family.

He and his family have to labor all day long just to find something to eat at the end of the day. He is trying to reach his family back home to get any support he can, but there’s no hope. Communications are hard to come by in his area and there’s little he can do.

Hassan soothes his family in any way possible, and he is trying to remain optimistic despite what he is going through. Hassan is not alone; there’re millions of Syrians just like him. They lost their home and livelihood. Wandering around the world, searching for a new home with no avail. Guess what?

Syrians are not alone, there are millions of refugees everywhere. From countries like Somalia and Afghanistan. They are all going through this nightmare. In fact, the world is seeing more refugees than any time in recorded history. Will this never end?

There are more displaced people now than after World War II

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The United Nation’s refugee agency, the UNHCR, reports that the number of displaced people worldwide is at its highest ever, even surpassing post-WWII records. This is alarming compared with the devastation of the WWII when the world was trying to come to terms with one of the most destabilizing events in its history. By the end of 2015, the total number of displaced people reached 65.3 million. That translates to about one displaced person out of every 113 people on the planet. This is an increase of over 5.8 compared to the year before.

According to the UNHCR, nearly 1% of the globe’s population is listed as, internally displaced, asylum seeker, or refugee. One of the major causes of displacement is long-term conflicts. A keen example is the conflict in Afghanistan, which has made it the world’s number 1 refugee-producing country. Ever since the nation was invaded by the Soviet Union in 1978, things have never been the same again. The Soviet invasion was followed by a Taliban insurgency, and then a post 9-11 invasion by a western-led coalition. Syria is another situation where the civil war has contributed to nearly 5 million refugees in nearby Turkey, Lebanon, and Iraq. South Sudan is also another example of a country that’s facing conflict, not to forget the Horn of Africa war haven of Somalia. These conflicts have directly contributed to tens of millions of refugees around the world.

More than half of all refugees come from Afghanistan, Syria, and Somalia

Roughly 54 percent of all refugees in the world come from 3 nations: Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia. Currently, Syria has the largest number of externally displaced people, standing at 4.9 million, followed by Afghanistan at 2.7 million and Somalia at 1.1 million.

By the end of 2015, only a little more than 200,000 refugees returned to their countries of origin. 100,000 more were resettled in other countries. The United States accommodated the largest chunk, at 66,500. These numbers reflect displaced people from the Central African Republic, Afghanistan, and Somalia.

Nearly 100,000 unaccompanied children

According to the UNHCR, about 98,400 of al asylum applications were made by unaccompanied or separated children, mostly from Somalia, Eritrea, Afghanistan, and Syria. This is a worrying situation that highlights the need for increased focus on the refugee crisis around the world.

Top refugee host nations

Turkey is currently the nation hosting the largest number of externally displaced refugees, standing at 2.5 million. The country is closely followed by Pakistan at 1.6 million, then Lebanon at 1.1 million, Iran with 979,000, and Ethiopia. This is the second consecutive year that Turkey has ranked the number one refugee host in the world.

3 Countries in the world that produce the largest number of refugees

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Each day, more than 30,000 human beings are forced to leave their original countries are refugees. That’s according to the United Nations. But where are the majority of these people coming from? What are they running from, and where do they finally end up?

Origin of refugees

More than half of all refugees in the world come from Syria, Afghanistan, and Somalia.

  • 1. Afghan refugee situation – the afghan conflict has lasted since 1978 when the Soviet Union invaded the country. Refugees from this nation have fled to the surrounding states. And to add salt to the injury, the situation didn’t quite improve after the Soviets left. There’s been a consequent civil war, the Taliban conquest, and most recently the western-led invasion of the country following September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by Al Qaeda. This means that over the last few decades, there’s been constant war in Afghanistan, and millions of people have fled the violence. There are about six million refugees (from Afghanistan) in neighboring Pakistan. This makes Afghanistan the number one refugee-producing nation on earth, a title that it’s held for about 32 years. More than 95% of Afghan refugees are situated win either Pakistan or Iran. Smaller groups have relocated to NATO countries and India.
  • Syrian refugee crisis – in recent times, Syria’s civil war has created one of the most worrying refugee situations ever. Over 11 million have either died or fled their homes. This includes nearly 5 million people who have sought refuge outside the country. Families already inside Syria are struggling to survive, as the war continues. Hundreds of thousands are risking their lives trying to make their way to Europe, while many more others are seeking shelter in the neighboring countries. About 2.7 million Syrian refugees are currently in Turkey, 1 million in Lebanon (1 out of every 4 people in this country is a Syrian refugee), 650,000 in Jordan, and 220,000 in Iraq.
  • Somalia refugee crisis – with no functioning government, clan wars that have lasted for decades, and a deadly terrorist group commanding swathes of the country, Somalia has been often described as a failed state. The 1991 collapse of the then Somali government and the resulting civil war resulted in hundreds of thousands of refugees. About 500,000 Somali refugees fled to Kenya, while nearly 250,000 went to Ethiopia. Most of those who went to Kenya settled in the expansive Dadaab refugee camp, which was designed to handle just 160,000 refugees but is currently home to half a million. There are about 100,000 more Somali refugees in Kakuma camp, as well as about 30,000 urban refugees in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. As the international community supports a weak government that was recently installed in Somalia, both Kenya and Ethiopia are considering resettlement as a viable, durable solution.

Other countries that have produced a significant number of refugees include Congo DR, Myanmar, Eritrea, Vietnam, South Sudan, Sudan, Colombia, and Mali.

Based on the size of the population, Lebanon hosts the highest number of refugees (more than a quarter of people living in the country). Based on Economic capacity, Pakistan is the number one refugee host country, followed by Ethiopia and then Kenya.