World Refugee Day takes place on the 20th June. This year we organised a gathering at the MK Rose.
The World Refugee Crisis – by the Numbers
We are living through a massive refugee crisis. It is one of the most serious problems that the World faces today.
By the end of 2017 68.5 million people had been driven from their homes across the world – more people than the entire population of Thailand.
Last year 25.4 million people fled their countries to escape conflict and persecution – nearly 3 million more than in 2016 – the biggest increase ever recorded in a single year.
New displacement is also growing, with 16.2 million people displaced during 2017. That is an average of one person displaced every two seconds.
The largest numbers of new refugees are from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan and Myanmar – where hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees have escaped to Bangladesh.
85 per cent of refugees live in developing countries, many of which are desperately poor and receive little support to care for these new populations.
Four out of five refugees remain in countries next door to their own.
Refugees in the UK
In 2016, the UK received applications for asylum for 39,000 individuals – far less than Germany which received 92,000, Italy with 117,000 and France with 83,000.
The UK ranks 17th in Europe in terms of asylum applications per head of the population.
In 2015 the UK government pledged to receive 20,000 people from Syria through the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme. 11,649 refugees have now been taken in under VPRS by 283 different local authorities – including Milton Keynes where we have now welcomed 13 families.
The VPRS scheme is about to be reviewed and there is a real danger that numbers and resources will be cut. Citizens UK is now calling on government to “Extend the Welcome”.
Red Cross Numbers for Milton Keynes
There are refugees and asylum seekers in Milton Keynes from a range of different origins.
Since start of 2018 the Red Cross has been visited by 137 individuals seeking support, some with many dependants.
68 of those individuals are living in abject poverty.
Our top 5 nationalities in need here in Milton Keynes are Syria, Sri Lanka, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran and Ghana
60% of our clients are female, 40% male.