Seeking Refuge, Rebuilding Lives

Today, we are witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record, with 65.6 million people displaced worldwide. Every minute, 20 people flee their homes to escape war, disaster, terror or persecution. They have no choice but to leave behind the things they love: their families, friends, livelihoods and communities. They take only what they can carry – if they are lucky to carry anything at all. And they find themselves in unfamiliar places, surrounded by strangers and mired in uncertainty—wondering if they will ever go home and how to start again.

Every year, the international community honors refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) with World Refugee Day on June 20. This year, International Medical Corps will take you deeper into the experiences of the refugees and IDPs we serve globally on the frontlines of war and disaster. Whether they are Syrian refugees in Jordanian camps or Congolese IDPs in temporary shelters, we meet those most in need wherever they are and provide emergency relief, comprehensive health care and long-term programming to help them recover and rebuild. Their lives are unique and their circumstances complex, but they are all seeking the same things: refuge, and a way to move forward.

These are their stories.

Fast Facts:

  • 65.6 million individuals displaced worldwide as a result of persecution, conflict, violence or human rights violations—the highest number on record
  • One person becomes displaced every 3 seconds
  • 55% of refugees come from just three countries: Syria, Afghanistan and South Sudan
  • Refugee children are five times more likely to be out of school than their non-refugee peers

The Things We Carry: Stories of Syrian refugees and what they took with them as they fled.