The refugee crisis is the dangerous displacement of people from their country of origin. In 1951, the Refugee Convention hosted by the UN defined a refugee as a person who “owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.”.1 There are multiple catastrophes occurring internationally which have caused the fleeing of citizens from their home country. Presently, there are 89.3 million people in the world who have been forcibly displaced; 53.2 million of those people were internally displaced, 21.3 million are considered refugees under UNHCR’s mandate, and 4.6 million are asylum seekers. 83% of refugees are currently being hosted in low and middle income countries and 72% have sought refuge in neighboring countries. The primary hosting countries for refugees are: Turkey (3.8 million refugees), Colombia (1.8 million), Uganda (1.5 million), Pakistan (1.5 million), and Germany (1.3 million). The major source countries for refugees which account for two thirds of all refugees worldwide are: the Syrian Arab Republic (6.8 million refugees), Venezuela (4.6 million), Afghanistan (2.7 million), South Sudan (2.4 million), and Myanmar (1.2 million).2 With the continued eruption of conflict across nations, the number of refugees and asylum seekers increases which requires the immediate attention of governments and citizens.


The causes for displacement differ across the situation but the main reasons are: war, hunger, poverty, persecution, and climate change.3 As countries become unstable or uninhabitable for citizens, people migrate out of the country to escape danger. Wars and conflict force families to uproot themselves from their homes, leaving many things behind in an effort to save their own lives. Those living in hunger or poverty may leave the country to seek support from other governments. The persecution of a cultural/ethnic/religious group provides an urgent need for citizens to evacuate a country to preserve their own lives. Political and social conflict is not the leading incentive for migration, climate change within a country can make the land uninhabitable and force people out of their homes without time or the ability to salvage anything.4 Climate change causes the fleeing of citizens by creating natural disasters from which cities are unable to recover from.


The refugee crisis and its causes have been responsible for the loss of resources, economic crisis, hunger, and widespread displacement.5 When countries that are primary producers of raw materials (like Ukraine and Venezuela) fall victim to corruption, the production of resources suffers and thus causes the country’s economic prosperity to decline.6 As a result of economic decline, citizens are left impoverished and hungry without immediate sources of relief in their country. The effects of the refugee crisis however, are not limited to the country itself, the widespread displacement of citizens has left people without homes, leading them to find sanctuary in other countries. The impact of refugees on a country has been disputed; some believe that refugees are a burden whilst others view refugees as an opportunity. Research on the refugee crisis conducted by Beth Elise Whitaker reported that “ Refugees generally impose a burden on local infrastructure, environment, and resources. Refugees can also benefit hosts, though, by providing cheap labor to local producers, expanding consumer markets for local goods, and justifying increased foreign aid.” (Whitaker, 1999).7 There is no definitive or guaranteed effect that the refugee crisis will have as every situation varies depending on the countries involved.


To combat the hardships of the refugee crisis, countries can supply refugees with specific visas, guaranteed asylum, and put aside funds to facilitate the integration of refugees into the country.8 Humanitarian visas allow refugees to safely enter new countries, however, they are limited in number and refugees must meet a list of criteria before receiving one.9 There are other available visas, such as medical and educational visas, which allow refugees to enter foreign countries in pursuit of a service or career. The distribution of visas provides refugees with safe, legal opportunities. Allowing refugees quick access to asylum would also limit the suffering and dangers of being a refugee. The delay between seeking asylum and receiving asylum is, in some cases, incredibly extensive for refugees and such a wait can lead to greater problems in the future as some refugees risk being sent back to countries where they are unsafe whilst waiting for a verification of asylum. To effectively prepare for the acceptance of refugees into a country, it would be ideal for countries to have sufficient funds to support this endeavor. Having enough funds to pay for the settlement of refugees into the country would make the process more effective and also ensure that the welcoming of immigrants is optimal. The implementation of tactics aimed to create an adept process for receiving refugees would make the transition out of unstable countries and into safer countries increasingly more beneficial to the refugees themselves.

  1. “Refugees.” United Nations, United Nations,
  2. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. “Figures at a Glance.” UNHCR, UNHCR, The UN Refugee Agency,  
  3. “What Is a Refugee and a Refugee Crisis?: World Vision UK.” What Is a Refugee and a Refugee Crisis? | World Vision UK, World Vision,  
  4. “Refugees.” United Nations, United Nations, 
  5.  “7 Of the World’s Largest Refugee Crises & Their Effects on Hunger.” World Food Program USA, World Food Program,,refugees%20are%20women%20and%20children 
  6. “Venezuela: The Rise and Fall of a Petrostate.” Council on Foreign Relations, Council on Foreign Relations, 
  7. Whitaker, Beth. “Changing Opportunities: Refugees and Host Communities in Western Tanzania.” UNHCR, UNHCR, 
  8. “Ways to Welcome.” Amnesty International, Amnesty International, 5 July 2021,  
  9. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. “Climate Change and Disaster Displacement.” UNHCR, UNHCR, The UN Refugee Agency,  
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