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World Refugee Day: Over 50 Million People Are Uprooted Across The World Right Now

There are now 51.2 million refugees and displaced people across the world, more than at any time since the Second World War. For World Refugee Day, the International Rescue Committee’s Peter Biro shares his photos of uprooted people.

1. The sun rises over the main street in Domiz refugee camp, northern Iraq, home to over 40,000 refugees from Syria.

Peter Biro/The IRC

Since the civil war broke out in 2011, Syria has been the world’s largest refugee crisis with over 2.8 million refugees in neighboring countries.

2. The majority of Syrian refugees don’t live in camps, but in towns and cities across the Middle East.

Peter Biro/The IRC

They are often forced to live in squalid conditions, without access to humanitarian aid. These children live with their family in one small, cold room in the Lebanese town of Bebnine.

3. Around 6.5 million people are displaced within Syria.

Peter Biro/The IRC

This family are living in a crude shelter in Idlib Governorate in the northern part of the county.

4. Sectarian violence in the Central African Republic has forced an estimated one million people from their homes.

Peter Biro/The IRC

Some 60,000 of them have sought shelter at M’Poko, the capital Bangui’s international airport.

5. Around 2.5 million people—more than half the country’s population—are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance in Central African Republic.

Peter Biro/The IRC

6. 2014 also saw renewed fighting in South Sudan.

Peter Biro/The IRC

More than a million people have been displaced by fighting sparked by a political rivalry between South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, and Riek Machar, the former vice president.

7. The South Sudan war has left 3.7 million facing starvation.

Peter Biro/The IRC

Water-borne diseases are rampant, like in the cramped and unsanitary Tomping camp for displaced people in the capital Juba.

8. Despite an uneasy peace and political changes in Somalia, more than 2 million Somalis remain displaced, fleeing fighting and hunger.

Peter Biro/The IRC

Nearly one million live in neighboring countries and 1.1 million are internally displaced, like this elderly man living in a war-damaged building in the capital Mogadishu.

Peter Biro/The IRC

10. Ongoing fighting between rebels and government troops continues to force people from their homes in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Peter Biro/The IRC

Nearly 3 million people live in squalid camps or in the bush.

11. Only about one percent of refugees have the opportunity to be resettled in a third country, such as the United States, Australia or Scandinavia.

Peter Biro/The IRC

In the U.S., the IRC, through its New Roots program, helps connect refugees, many of whom were farmers in their countries of origin, with opportunities to build community gardens and sell their produce locally.

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