A South Sudanese refugee woman in Ethiopia.

World Refugee Day 2019

Globally, more people displaced now than ever before. Our teams – some of whom are refugees themselves – work hard each day to support them by fighting hunger, providing psychosocial counseling, improving access to clean water, and more.

The number of people who have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict, persecution, and human rights violations has reached a new record high. According to data from the UN Refugee Agency:

  • 70.8 million people were forcibly displaced in 2018. Of these, 29.5 million were refugees who crossed a border to find safety in another country, and 41.3 million were displaced inside their home countries.
  • The vast majority of refugees don’t go far: nearly four out of every five reside in a neighboring country, hoping to return home soon. But sadly, due to prolonged, entrenched conflicts, their average stay is 17 years.
  • More than two-thirds of the world’s refugees come from just five countries: Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar, and Somalia. 84% are now living in low- and middle-income regions, stretching already-strained resources to the brink.

It’s easy to get lost among these numbers – but data does not tell the full story. Refugees have survived unimaginable trauma. Yet, they have found the strength to persevere. Despite hardships, displaced people are women starting businesses, mothers making friendships, grandmothers learning about health and nutrition, and children dreaming of brighter futures.

Standing with Refugees in Ethiopia

"Once the war broke out, I experienced the difficulties of life in this world," says Nyalat, one of 2.3 million refugees who have fled the conflict in South Sudan. She and her children sought safety in Ethiopia and, with support from her fellow refugees and Action Against Hunger, they are overcoming hunger and finding stability.

Meet Nyalat and read her story >>

Improving Livelihoods in Uganda

Patrick Otim, an Action Against Hunger agronomist, and Dr. Charles Owubah, Action Against Hunger's CEO, check out the mushrooms grown by Lucy Acholi, a South Sudanese refugee in Uganda.

Photo: Brian Kimanthi
for Action Against Hunger,

When it comes to welcoming refugees, Uganda is one of the world’s most progressive countries. It currently hosts 1.2 million refugees, primarily from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo; 86% of them are women and children. With conflict ongoing in their home countries, many are settling in for the long-term. 

Action Against Hunger is providing refugees with training and tools for them to improve their health, nutrition, and livelihoods – offering a more hopeful future. 

Meet Lucy, a refugee who started a mushroom growing business with our support >>

How We Help

Inside one of Action Against Hunger's Health Centers in Nguenyyiel Refugee Camp in the Gambella region of Ethiopia.

Photo: Toby Madden
for Action Against Hunger,

Action Against Hunger is proud to support refugees, internally displaced people, and their host communities to reduce malnutrition and to help them rebuild their lives. We are on the front lines of the world’s most serious refugee crises, including the Syrian crisis, the Rohingya emergency, and the conflict in South Sudan. 

From Yemen to Nigeria, Somalia to Bangladesh, we are:

  • Providing lifesaving treatment to malnourished children.
  • Improving access to clean water and safe sanitation. 
  • Increasing access to nutritious food and income. 
  • Supporting mothers with education on breastfeeding, hygiene, healthy diets, and child care practices. 
  • Counselling refugees to improve mental health and wellbeing. 
  • Working with governments and partners to build local capacity and improve support systems. 

Join us: Donate now to support our work with refugees >>  

Action Against Hunger is the world’s hunger specialist and leader in a global movement that aims to end life-threatening hunger for good within our lifetimes. For 40 years, the humanitarian and development organization has been on the front lines, treating and preventing hunger across nearly 50 countries. It served more than 21 million people in 2018 alone.