Locating Africa in the Worlds Refugee Crisis

By Neo Sithole

Despite populist rhetoric in the West, the real refugee crisis is playing out in developing countries, which hosts 85 % (70.8 million) of the worlds displaced people who have fled war and persecution, the United Nations said on Wednesday, 19 June.

Being the second most populated continent the number of displaced people in Africa remains a hot stove. Africa has the second highest number of displaced persons in the world according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). Continentally 37% (7 million) of the world’s 19.6 million refugee population is in Africa with 39.1 million internally displaced people. Standing with almost 6.6 million displaced people sub-Saharan Africa is host to 26% of the worlds displaced according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

An infographic from Aljazeera puts South Sudan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Burundi are amongst the countries with the highest amounts of refugees in sub-Saharan Africa with Uganda accommodating 1.4 million displaced peoples. 

 The UNHCR estimates that at least one person is forcibly displaced every two seconds as a result of conflict or persecution. 

As the globe’s refugee crisis worsens countries are left to battle increasing internal tensions between citizens and asylum seekers African countries are arguably under more severe strain. Distribution of already scare resources like land, water, foods and subjectively hampered delivery of services like healthcare and education between citizens and refugees in ballooning populations remain a concern for already struggling governments as xenophobic flare ups become more common compounding already present ethnic and religious disputes.


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