(CNN)We are in the midst of the WORLD’S WORST refugee crisis in history. A crisis that brings with it overwhelming numbers, huge challenges for countries and communities affected, untold misery — and hope.
More than 65 MILLION people are now counted as forcibly displaced by the United Nations. That’s like the entire population of the UK or France, or about as many as everyone in New York state, Texas and Florida — all forced from their homes. Just over one-third are refugees, people forced to flee their countries because of persecution, war, or violence.
CHILDREN are disproportionately affected — more than half of refugees are under 18.
MORE PEOPLE are displaced every day — You could fill about 630 school buses with people forced from their homes. Every day.
WAR is a major factor. More than half of refugees come from three war-torn countries — Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia, the UN says.
Others flee FAMINE or PERSECUTION. Starvation is stalking millions in Africa in 2017. And in Myanmar, there are about 1 million Rohingyas — a persecuted ethnic and religious minority who say they are being increasingly targeted and attacked.
Some take refuge in the first safe place they find. Others journey on, risking all, in the hopes of finding a better new life.
DEVELOPING COUNTRIES host the greatest number of refugees.
Only 1% of refugees are RESETTLED IN ANY ONE YEAR. 37 MOSTLY RICHER NATIONS work with the United Nations to accept refugees for resettlement. 150,000 got new homes in 2016.
In 2017, the modern world is kicking up some SURPRISES — such as refugees leaving the US for Canada.
But much continues to be the same. Familes feeling compelled to leave their homes and almost everything else behind. The human tide welcomed by some, rejected by others. And the key thing that is not changing — the numbers show no signs of reducing.