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10 Facts About Beninese Refugees

10 Facts About Benin Refugees
Benin is a French-speaking West African nation, home to the Vodun (Voodoo) religion, established in 1960. Benin is a country in which Beninese have fled their own country to seek asylum in other countries, while also accepting refugees from neighboring countries. Here are 10 facts about Beninese refugees:

  1. The Beninese government cooperates with the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other humanitarian organizations in assisting refugees and asylum seekers on their rights and basic needs within Benin.
  2. U.N. agencies in Benin joined efforts with the Beninese government to provide refugee-hosting families with assistance and to reinforce social infrastructures such as schools and health facilities for the new arrivals.
  3. In 2016, 710 people fled Benin and applied for asylum in other countries. This corresponds to approximately 0.007 percent of all residents of Benin.
  4. The most desired destination countries for Beninese refugees to flee have been Italy, Germany and the United States. The most successful refugees from Benin have been in Canada and in Italy.
  5. Refugees have put in applications for asylum in Italy, Germany, the United States, France, Belgium, Brazil, South Africa, Canada, Austria, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Egypt, Spain and Morocco. However, overall, 96 percent of these asylum applications have been rejected.

While many Beninese people left Benin, many people have also sought out Benin to seek asylum from their own countries.

  1. More than 200,000 Togolese (from Togo in West Africa) have gone into exile, while most reached neighboring countries such as Ghana and Benin seeking asylum.
  2. After the recent election in Togo, a total of 26,154 people left Togo and sought asylum in Ghana and Benin, according to the United Nations.
  3. Due to the influx of Togolese refugees into Benin, the country urged the international community to send $6.5 million in aid.
  4. According to the United Nations, most of the refugees in Benin are “living with family and friends, with UNHCR providing transport for new arrivals who wish to stay with relatives.”
  5. In 2015, there were 530 refugees in Benin, which was a drastic drop from prior years.

The mid-2000s brought a surge of Togolese refugees into Benin, while at the same time some Beninese sought asylum in other countries. As of 2016, the number of refugees in Benin had drastically dropped and continues to stay at a low amount. These 10 facts about Beninese refugees show how political situations affect a number of asylum seekers.

Stefanie Podosek

Photo: Flickr