Africa: Being a Refugee in the Midst of a Global Pandemic

press release

Brussels — Vulnerable populations, including refugees, are at the heart of the Team Europe response to the COVID-19 crisis. On World Refugee Day 2020, the EU reaffirms its commitment to a world where nobody would need asylum

Imagine that you have been forced to leave your home, and in the middle of your route to safety, they close the border you had to cross to find asylum. A great pandemic has broken out and you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, deprived of your livelihood, exposed to discrimination and xenophobia from the locals, and at high risk of being deported back to your country, where you will be persecuted. Stop imagining... this has been the reality for many in the last months.

"This year, World Refugee Day comes at a time when the world is facing a global pandemic that has already cost the lives of thousands of people and is affecting the livelihood of millions more. The struggle is even harder for refugees, internally displaced persons, migrants and stateless persons", reads the statement jointly issued by the European Commission and the High Representative Josep Borrell to mark the date.

By the end of 2019, the number of people who had to leave their home totalled to almost 80 million, of which nearly 26 million were refugees and 4.2 million were asylum seekers. Additionally, there were around 45.7 million internally displaced. This means that about one person is displaced every two seconds because of conflict or persecution. Turkey, Pakistan, Uganda, Sudan and Germany are currently the five countries hosting the highest number of refugees in the world.

Within the EU, 676.300 asylum seekers applied for international protection to Member States in 2019 and about 297.000 persons were granted protection status.

Copyright European Union, 1995-2020

SOURCE European External Action

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