People from all over the world seek asylum in refugee camps. But what exactly is a refugee camp? A refugee camp is a quickly built shelter for refugees who are fleeing for their lives because of violence and persecution. Approximately 28,300 people are forced to flee their homes every day because of persecution and crises. Refugee camps serve as a temporary safe haven for people in need and provide aid such as food, water and medical attention. Understanding key facts about refugee camps better explains their purpose and their struggles.
Here are the top 10 facts about refugee camps.
- 2.6 million refugees live in refugee camps.
- 80,000 refugees live in the Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan. In comparison, this is about the same as the population of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Jordan has sheltered approximately 635,000 Syrian refugees since its development, equaling 10 percent of Syria’s population.
- Fifty-five percent of refugees come from Afghanistan, South Sudan and Syria.
- Refugee camps are most often found near the border of neighboring countries.
- More than half of the people seeking asylum in refugee camps are children.
- Most refugee camps are created to be temporary, but some of them have turned into functioning cities because of the continued needs of the refugees.
- People living in refugee camps often suffer from chronic malnutrition because there is not always enough food for everyone within the camps.
- In October 2017, Bangladesh announced that they will be building one of the biggest refugee camps yet. They plan to house the 800,000-plus Rohingya Muslims who are seeking refuge from violence and crisis in Myanmar. More than half a million Muslims arrived and were dispersed among 23 scattered refugee camps. Bangladesh authorities plan to bring all of those refugees together into one large refugee camp.
- Most refugee camps lack schools, which is detrimental to children’s development, especially if they are there for long periods of time.
- On average, refugees remain in refugee camps for more than 12 years. Their temporary solution often has to become more permanent.
These facts about refugee camps give people insight into what exactly refugee camps are, how they help and the complications they face. Although refugee camps face extreme difficulties, they help countless numbers of refugees every single day, whether it be temporary or long-term. This is why it is imperative to continue to spread awareness and ensure that forms of assistance like refugee camps continue to be a priority across the globe.
– McCall Robison