This two-year-old refugee is struggling to keep warm in sub-zero temps in Greece. Her family's temporary shelter is a concrete warehouse. Photo credit: Anna Pantelia/Save the Children 2017.

This two-year-old refugee is struggling to keep warm in sub-zero temps in Greece. Her family's temporary shelter is a concrete warehouse.

World Refugee Crisis Explained

The Worst Refugees Crisis Since WWII

Today, 26 million men, women, and children have been forced to flee their home countries due to conflict and persecution, many of whom are currently living in overcrowded conditions with limited or no access to healthcare. Now, with the impact that COVID-19 has had on the economy, refugee families will be pushed even further into poverty. 

Save the Children is committed to continuing to help millions of refugee children, regardless of ethnicity, religion or any other factor.

Since our founding in 1919, Save the Children has worked tirelessly to provide refugees with lifesaving assistance, improve access to education and quality health care, and protect children from exploitation. Whether in camps, on the move or in host communities, our caring staff helps refugee children from Syria, South Sudan, Burundi and other countries marred by violence and persecution. 

A donation to the Child Refugee Crisis Relief Fund will help refugee children around the world have the future every child deserves.

What is the Refugee Crisis?

  • Worldwide, 22.5 million refugees, half of them children, have left everything behind to escape conflict, violence and persecution
  • Many have experienced profound physical and emotional traumas
  • Some are missing years of school, severely compromising their futures
  • Children travelling alone are especially vulnerable – if they make it at all
  • Others are starved out of their homelands due to drought and conflict

For more information, read the Refugee Children’s Progress Report and read What Is a Refugee?

Refugee Children Across the World

Save the Children has been responding to crises around the world for over 100 years. Since the refugee crisis erupted, we’ve been doing whatever it takes to help them survive and thrive in:


More than 10 years of destructive conflict in Syria has hit those who are least responsible the hardest – the nation’s children. We have been there for children throughout the war since 2012, and support Syrian refugees around the world. GET MORE FACTS

South Sudan

Children in the world’s youngest nation are enduring a deepening crisis. Since the outbreak of fighting in 2013, humanitarian needs in South Sudan have escalated to alarming levels and 2.1 million people have been forced to flee their homes. GET MORE FACTS


688,000 Rohingya men, women and children have crossed the border into Bangladesh, fleeing large-scale violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State. We’re working to support their basic rights. GET MORE FACTS


One in four people in Lebanon is a Syrian refugee. We have reached over 530,000 Syrian refugees here, including 313,000 children, with critical protection, education, food and shelter assistance. FIND OUT MORE


Uganda – a country already hosting more than 1 million refugees – has been straining to help an ever-growing number of South Sudanese refugees. Our Emergency Health Unit has been deployed to save lives in the wake of a cholera outbreak in the camps. LEARN MORE


Egypt hosts more than 208,000 refugees. Over half are from Syria – others are from Iraq and several troubled African nations. We help refugees as well as the host communities straining to accommodate so many people in need. FIND OUT MORE


More than 688,000 Rohingya men, women and children have fled to Bangladesh, following a rapid and alarming escalation of violence in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State. LEARN MORE


Over 847,200 refugees from countries facing conflict in East Africa now live in Ethiopia. Our relief workers are protecting, educating and feeding children in refugee camps as well as helping surrounding communities withstand a deadly drought that has devastated the food supply. LEARN MORE


Nearly 150,000 refugees have fled to Tanzania from Burundi, more than half of them are children. Our relief workers are protecting children, building schools, providing educational materials and teaching life skills to teens. LEARN MORE


Kenya is home to nearly half a million refugees, mostly from Somalia and South Sudan. We're working in Dadaab refugee camp to improve access to schooling and ensure that children are protected from harm. LEARN MORE


Afghan children have known nothing but conflict their entire lives. Since June, tens of thousands of Afghan refugees have fled their homes amid escalating violence, seeking safety and unsure of what their future may hold. LEARN MORE

Leice, a 3-year-old is being treated for typhoid fever at a Save the Children Health Center in a refugee camp. Photo credit: Mark Kaye/Save the Children, August 2016.


More than 428,000 people have fled into neighboring countries since the post-election crisis in 2015. We are working in refugee camps, giving children the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. 


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