Images Bring the Refugee Crisis to Life

The number of refugees around the world has reached an all-time high, according to a report released Thursday by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). By the end of 2014, nearly 60 million people had fled their homes due to violence and persecution.

That number, up from last year’s figure of 51 million, represents the largest annual increase in displaced people on record. It includes both refugees who have left their country and the internally displaced, who have fled to a different part of their country.

These photos capture people at the center of the crisis, many of them fleeing conflicts in countries such as Syria, the Ukraine, and South Sudan. With war and tension continuing to roil those nations, the UN predicts that the number of displaced people will only continue to rise.

Temporary Home A boy gazes through his temporary shelter in a camp for displaced people near Mt. Nyiragongo in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo.


Crossing the Border Syrian refugees enter Akcakale, Turkey, this month through a broken border fence. Since the start of the Syrian civil war, 1.8 million refugees have fled to Turkey.


Hoping for Entry Thousands of Syrians gather at the border near Dikmetas, Turkey last year. Over the next three days, 200,000 refugees entered Turkey.

End of a Journey A woman watches other migrants from Pakistan, Syria, and Sub-Saharan African exit a ship in the port of Catania, Italy.

Walking Through Camp A woman walks through a Ukrainian refugee camp in Donetsk, Russia. Conflict in the Ukraine has displaced more than a million of its citizens.

Sound Asleep Children sleep in a shelter in Gulu, Uganda, after fleeing rebel forces.

Coming Home Kurdish refugees return from a camp on the Turkish border to be closer to their homes in Iraqi Kurdistan.


Far From Home A mother and daughter sit at home in an in an Eritrean refugee camp in Suola, Ethiopia. When the picture was taken, they had not eaten in days.

Fleeing Violence Displaced South Sudanese shelter in Kalma and Al Salam, two camps in Sudan’s Darfur region. According to the UNHCR report, 1.5 million South Sudanese are internally displaced, and half a million have fled to other countries.


Journey Across the Sea An Afghan refugee sits on the side of a road on Lesbos, a Greek island. In the past month, thousands of Middle Eastern refugees have crossed the Aegean Sea to find shelter on the island.

source: By Becky Little

Photo gallery by Sherry Brukbacher

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