Refugees & Displaced People
Over 60 million children and families have been forcibly displaced from their homes by conflict and strife. These are the largest numbers of refugees and displaced people since World War II. Extreme poverty (less than $1.90 a day) is on the rise in places with weak governance and disrupted public services, like education, health, and clean water. These places are the world’s “fragile states,” where families and communities are affected by disasters, economic crises, conflict, and social upheaval. World Vision has worked in fragile states for over three decades to provide life-saving support and durable solutions for the world’s most vulnerable children.
People in 39 of the 56 most fragile areas
receive support through our long- and short-term programming.
2 million refugees and displaced people
have been assisted by our staff in the midst of conflicts in Syria and Iraq.
What is a refugee?
Refugees are people who had to flee their home country due to war, violence, or persecution, according to the UN Refugee Agency. Refugees are different from immigrants because refugees cannot go home, or are afraid that it is not safe to return. Displaced people have had to leave their homes for the same reason as a refugee, but they are still living within their home country. World Vision works with both refugees and Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in the most fragile places, including Syria, Iraq, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Why does World Vision work in fragile places?
We go where humanitarian and development needs are high. If estimates hold true, by 2030, around eighty percent of the world’s extreme poor will live in fragile states. What’s more alarming is that extreme poverty has a child’s face: the majority of people in fragile contexts are young. As a child-focused organization, we have a clear call to help the most vulnerable children — those who live in fragile states and who are increasingly forced to flee instability within and across borders as refugees.
What programs are most effective in helping families in these situations?
Programs that provide basic necessities while boosting a community’s resilience and self-reliance in the face of disasters and destitution are most effective. Direct assistance for children, households, and communities make a big impact in fragile states, since their governments are often unable to provide basic services. To be most effective, programs need to empower communities and work through local organizations, including churches, mothers’ groups, and farmers’ associations, so that they build local capacity while providing assistance. Programs should also help governments assume responsibility, over time, for service delivery and social protection.
How does World Vision’s work help?
We have worked in the majority of the world’s fragile states for more than 30 years. We know what types of programs work in these contexts, and more importantly, we have longstanding relationships and trust with the communities we serve. Our big focus in fragile states is on developing new approaches to enable transition out of fragility, especially in program areas where we are strong: water, sanitation, and hygiene; health; livelihoods and food assistance; and child protection, and education. By integrating all these programs, we help to provide communities with what they need most. But no single group or organization can tackle fragility alone, so we partner with churches, donor governments, corporations, and individual supporters across the globe, in addition to local communities, faith bodies, civil society, and public institutions where we work.
Ultimately, our successful programs empower refugees and displaced people and cultivate ingenuity and resilience, so that communities have the know-how, the confidence, and the ability to help themselves and care for their children.
How quickly can a fragile nation move toward resilience?
The journey can take decades, but we don’t have to wait that long to help change children’s lives. We are seeing communities achieve better health, education, livelihoods, nutrition, and gender equality. And while the road is long, sustained donor support is making a difference in the most fragile places.
3 ways you can help refugees and displaced children and families
Ways to Give
Become a “Refugee Responder”
You can help refugees, and make a lasting difference for vulnerable, displaced children and families.