By the middle of 2022, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates there were 103 million forcibly-displaced people worldwide.


Of that figure, 32.5 million count as refugees, 4.9 million are asylum seekers, and 53.2 million are internally-displaced. Less than 1% are ever resettled, with only 34,400 achieving this in 2020 compared to 107,800 in 2019.


So where do they all go?


Many refugees end up in neighbouring countries. For example, Turkey currently hosts roughly 3.7 million refugees, many of whom come from Syria, which borders Turkey to the south. In South America, Colombia hosts a large number of refugees from Venezuela.


Unfortunately, several of the top twelve host countries are experiencing their own humanitarian and economic crises. In Sudan, for example, there are 737,000 refugees from South Sudan, who fled large-scale violence in the country. However, 270,000 Sudanese refugees who are also fleeing violence, drought, and famine, are being hosted in South Sudan.


Refugee camps are intended to be temporary, so they are often made of informal housing, or tents. However, many have become longer-term settlements. Some camps are particularly at risk of floods or fire, like those in Bangladesh. Others may also face outbreaks of diseases. Getting supplies to the camps may also face obstacles from the ongoing situations occurring in host countries like Sudan.


Although nearly 80% of refugees live in cities, they still face very similar challenges, because they can end up in non-functional public housing, slums, or other informal settlements. Most of the rest end up in refugee camps.


Tragically, funding for rations is often under threat. In countries like Chad and Burkina Faso, rations were at 75% of their intended levels in 2022, meaning less is available overall. This marked the highest level of food insecurity since 2014. Recent events like the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the climate crisis, and the Covid pandemic have driven prices up to unprecedented levels, severely impacting the availability of food for refugees.


On top of this, as more and more people are displaced, what rations there are have to be spread further amongst growing numbers of refugees.


Here at Oasis, we believe in providing a warm Welsh welcome to all refugees and asylum seekers here in Wales. Part of this welcome is providing free hot meals during the week to the local refugee community. We can feed up to 170 or more every day! We also make refugees feel welcome with programs like our ESOL lessons, our MindSpring program, and visits to local attractions.


But, like the camps themselves, we are also facing funding challenges, especially due to the current cost of living crisis. To meet our funding needs, so that we can continue to provide those meals, we’ve come up with the Worth Your Salt challenge. You can find out more about the challenge here.


We also aim to set an example to other high-income countries. The only high-income country in the top twelve list is Germany, hosting roughly 1.2 million refugees from Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere. Between them, the UK and the rest of the EU settled only 9119 refugees in 2020. This is an astonishingly low number given that UK and EU pushbacks were linked with more than 2000 deaths that year. The UK government and media are also becoming  increasingly hostile to asylum seekers.  


By making our local community a welcoming space for all refugees, we show that it doesn’t need to be that way in high-income countries. With your help, we can continue to do better.