Helping people survive and recover from forced displacement

A Quick Overview

We're glad you want to learn about the global refugee crisis. We don't only want to inform you of the overwhelming realities. We want to also offer reason for hope!

But don't stop here! We can help you engage with refugees in life-giving ways! So be sure to check out our Training page and the IAFR Toolbox before you go!

Refugee Realities

  • The number of forcibly displaced people has increased from 42 million in 2009 to over 117 million today.*
  • That means that 1 in every 69 people in the world are forcibly displaced by war, persecution, and gross violations of human rights.
  • The number of forcibly displaced people worldwide increased by 9 million between January 2022 and January 2024.
  • 75% of the world's refugees are hosted by low- and middle-income countries.
  • Iran hosts more refugees than any other country in the world (3.8 million).
  • 50% are women and girls. 40% are children.
  • *Source UNHCR report. Other statistics from UNHCR Global Trends 2023, published in June 2024.

Failing Solutions

  • The world offers 3 solutions to forced displacement:
  • RETURN home. But this requires that the causes of displacement have been resolved. The UN has identified over 30 protracted refugee producing situations in the world, the average duration of which is 26 years. Returning home is not an option for the vast majority of refugees.
  • INTEGRATE into their country of refuge. More than 8 of 10 refugees (83%) are hosted by developing nations that are economically and socially unable to absorb the people seeking refuge within their borders.
  • RESETTLE to another country. But during an average year, less than 1% of the world's refugee population is resettled. Few countries are willing to help by offering the resettlement option to refugees.

"Faithful Christian ministry will often take Jesus' followers to places where hope is in short supply: places where a sense of hopelessness hangs over a community."

-NT Wright

Trends in Global Forced Displacement


The number of forcibly displaced people (FDP) worldwide increased from 41 million to 117.3 million between 2010 and 2023.

Forcibly Displaced People include refugees, asylum seekers and internally displaced people.

These are people uprooted by war, gross violations of human rights and persecution.


The ratio of forcibly displaced people (FDP) to the global population has steadily fallen between 2010 and 2023.

In 2013, 1 person in every 157 was forcibly displaced.

In December 2023, 1 person in every 69 has been forcibly displaced by persecution, war, or gross violations of human rights.


The number of refugees worldwide has steadily increased from 15 million to 43.4 million between 2010 and 2023.

Refugees are people who were forced to flee homeland to escape war, gross violations of human rights or persecution.

They fear imprisonment or loss of life should they be forced to return to their country.

75% of the world's refugees are hosted by low- and middle- income countries.

Asylum Seekers

The number of asylum seekers worldwide increased from around 800,000 in 2010 to 6.9 million in 2023.

Asylum seekers are people who have fled their country and applied for permanent refuge in a foreign country.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights declares that everyone has the right to seek asylum from persecution.

3 Reasons For Hope

Refugees are part of the solution.

God is Alive and Well on the refugee highway.

The church is present on the refugee highway.

It takes more than humanitarian response...
The IAFR Continuum of Recovery
IAFR Continuum of Response

The response to the global refugee crisis requires more than the services of emergency relief agencies. It requires long-term recovery work that serves to strengthen hope and help refugees rebuild their lives.

All too often, refugees find themselves viewed only as people in need. They are confined to the receiving end of the humanitarian and social services that keep them alive. As necessary as they are, it can be dehumanizing to be on the receiving end of such services.

Recovery work helps re-humanize people and restore hope by strengthening community, faith, emotional well-being and personal capacity. It also gets behind the ideas and solutions of refugees, recognizing the important part they play in finding solutions to their displacement.

Click here to download.

Next Stop

Ministry Resources

Are you looking for resources that will help you get a well-informed perspective concerning refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced people (IDP) that you can also share with others? Visit the IAFR Toolbox where you will find the resources below along with many more!

Map of the Refugee Highway

Map of the Highway

Current refugee realities along with biblical perspective all rolled up into a beautiful poster.

Introduction to the Refugee Highway (media presentation)

Intro to the Highway

An eye-opening presentation introducing current refugee realities and biblical perspective on forced displacement.

Refugee Realities FAQ (resource)

Refugee Realities FAQ

Discover answers to frequently asked questions about refugee realities in the world today.

IAFR is a member of the ICVA Network.

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