Yesterday marked World Refugee Day, a day to remember the strength and resilience of those forced to flee their homes. No one chooses to be a refugee.
Did you know that:
- There are over 15 million refugees around the world, and an even greater number of those who are internally displaced.
- Over 8 million have been in refugee camps for over 10 years.
- Pakistan is host to the largest number of refugees in the world with 1.7 million refugees from Afghanistan.
- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that more people will probably be on the move in the next decade because of continued environmental degradation, war and conflict.
- On average, women and girls constitute 49 percent of displaced persons around the world.
- 46 percent of refugees were children under the age of 18.
- Currently, Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, the largest in the world, holds over 400,000 refugees in a camp built to house only 90,000.
- Since April, over 100,000 people in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo have been displaced due to fighting.
- Worldwide, the number of refugees accepted for third country resettlement by all nations numbers about 120,000 for any given year. This is less than ½ of a percent of all refugee waiting for an opportunity to live in a safe environment, work for living, educate their children, and have hope for their future.
- The United States resettles more refugees than the rest of the world combined.
- The president sets the cap on refugee resettlement in this country each year. President Obama set this year’s cap at 76,000.
- World Relief, one of nine agencies contracted by the State Department to resettle refugees in our county, resettles approximately 9.5% of refugee admitted into the United States.
- With 29 offices across the country, World Relief has offices in Spokane, Tri-cites and Seattle making it the largest resettlement agency in our state.
- Spokane is authorized to resettle up to 600 refugees each year (2011 = 358, 2012 = estimates 400).