6 Countries You Didn’t Expect Were Helping Millions of Refugees

April 10, 2017


6 countries doing the most to help refugees, Ben & Jerry's

Unprecedented Tragedy

The refugee crisis has been in the news quite a bit lately, and we’re sure you’ve seen it come across your social media feeds. It’s probably even poked its head into a dinner party or two, prompting hushed voices and a few amateur solutions.

refugee factsThe reality is that it deserves much more than that: According to the UN Refugee Agency, we are witnessing unprecedented levels of displacement. Right now, 65.3 million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes — that’s the equivalent of the entire population of France — 21.3 million of whom are now refugees. That’s 21.3 million people who have been wrenched from their homes, often with children in tow, and are now simply seeking a safe place to call home.

Meanwhile, the back-and-forth among world leaders as to who should or, unfortunately, who won’t host refugees, seems never-ending. But we are incredibly humbled and impressed by these 6 countries that are going above and beyond to host displaced people in need:


6. Jordan

  • Total Population: 6.4 million
  • Refugees Hosted: 664,100

Jordan has been on the front lines of the refugee crisis, as it shares a large chunk of its northern border with Syria, which is producing more refugees than any other country. The nation has seen over 600,000 Syrian refugees cross over their borders since conflict began, yet they are still doing their best to accommodate refugees.


5. Ethiopia

  • Total Population: 94.1 million
  • Refugees Hosted: 736,100

While it’s one of the leading nations in Africa for hosting refugees, you probably wouldn’t pin Ethiopia to be the fifth largest global host of refugees. Most of the country’s refugees are hosted in 25 camps, and over 200,000 of them are fleeing from South Sudan.


4. Iran

  • Total Population: 77.4 million
  • Refugees Hosted: 979,400

With Afghanistan as their eastern neighbor, Iran has seen the brunt of the Afghani refugee outflow. A surprising 97% of these hosted refugees reside in urban areas which presents a unique set of challenges. Iran has continued to support these refugee populations, and has even offered healthcare to 83,000 refugees.


3. Lebanon

  • Total Population: 4.4 million
  • Refugees Hosted: 1.5 million

This tiny nation has a big claim to fame as it relates to hosting refugees. They have the highest refugee to population ratio of any country, proving that they’re pulling far more than their weight in the global landscape. But Lebanon isn’t the end of the journey for many refugees, a lot of whom ultimately risk traveling across the Mediterranean Sea to get to Europe.


2. Pakistan

  • Total Population: 182.1 million
  • Refugees Hosted: 1.6 million

Sharing and even larger border than Iran does with Afghanistan, it’s no surprise that Pakistan hosts the second highest number of refugees in the entire world. But, numbers can hide the real story, and Pakistan has been accused of some unsavory actions toward refugees within their borders.


1. Turkey

  • Total Population: 74.9 million
  • Refugees Hosted: 2.5 million

Similar to Lebanon, Turkey’s huge population of refugees lands them among the top hosts by population. Luckily, humanitarian aid has been there to help. Over 5,000 families there received cash aid to help survive the 2015 winter, and over 100,000 individuals were provided core relief items that same winter.

If you’ve been counting, these six countries’ refugee totals add up to just shy of eight million people. That’s impressive! And if this small handful of countries can make such a large impact on the refugee crisis, certainly other countries can lend a hand as well.

While the US was doing a fair job resettling refugees, most notably hitting the milestone of 10,000 Syrian refugees resettled under the Obama administration last year, we are quickly regressing with the latest contentious executive order by the new administration.

You can help. Take action by opposing the Trump administration’s executive order here!