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One in Four People Helped by HI is a Refugee or Displaced

June 18, 2024

Justine, 27, is a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo. She had undergone a lower limb amputation after a car accident and had been equipped with a very old prosthesis.

Justine and her children | © HI

On June 20, we recognize World Refugee Day. Humanity & Inclusion reports that 25% of the people assisted by HI's experts are displaced from their homes.

“Refugees and internally displaced people comprise a significant proportion of the individuals we support. One in every four people assisted by HI has been displaced due to armed conflicts or climatic hazards such as earthquakes, typhoons, and prolonged droughts. In the coming years, we anticipate an increase in the number of climate refugees, while we are also deeply concerned about the proliferation of protracted conflicts,” says Florence Daunis, HI Director of International Programs.

At a glance

  • Among the 2.6 million people supported by HI worldwide in 2023, 330,000 were refugees, and 310,000 were internally displaced. One in four people assisted by HI is a refugee or an internally displaced person.
  • HI works with displaced families and refugees in 35 countries, including Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Pakistan, South Sudan, and Thailand. Read some of their stories. 
  • HI's activities center on people with disabilities, who often encounter unique barriers to meeting their basic needs and accessing essential services. 
  • Climate emergencies and long-standing conflicts are the main drivers of the global increase in population displacement reported by UNHCR in recent years.
  • Refugee camps intended as temporary solutions are becoming permanent settlements for millions of people around the world. 

Example 1: Kyaka II settlement, Uganda

Kyaka II, a large refugee settlement in West Uganda, is home to more than 110,000 refugees, mainly from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, and Rwanda.

Justine, 27, is a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo. She had undergone a lower limb amputation after a car accident and had been equipped with a very old prosthesis. When she fled the armed violence in DRC and arrived in Uganda in 2022, her prosthesis was so worn out that she could no longer walk on it. HI provided her with a new prosthesis made using 3D printing technology.

“Now I can walk, have no discomfort, and have improved my balance. It’s so much easier for me to hold my breastfeeding baby and do chores like fetching water, for example. I can also access other services more easily; I can even walk to the health center by myself. I have some small
gardens and use what I grow to supplement our food at home.”

HI’s activities are particularly focused on supporting refugees living with disabilities. According to UNHCR (Population Dashboard, April 2024), nearly 100,000 refugees in Uganda are disabled (6% of the refugee population). These people experience higher levels of social exclusion and encounter barriers preventing them from meeting their basic needs and accessing essential services, such as protection, health, education, livelihood, and employment.

Example 2: Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh

Cox's Bazar, in East Bangladesh, is home to almost a million Rohingya refugees, 12% of whom are living with a disability.

In the Cox’s Bazar camp in Bangladesh, HI supports 6-year-old Jannat Ara. Her mother, Fatema, tells HI that she gave birth just after arriving at the camps in 2017:

“My daughter was born with cerebral palsy. Before meeting the HI rehabilitation teams, Jannat Ara couldn’t sit up or stand. She spent her days in my room and depended on us for everything."

HI’s rehabilitation teams supported Jannat, working with her to strengthen her muscles and improve her coordination and balance. The teams also taught Jannat's parents to help her do her daily exercises at home, increase her autonomy, and provide them with psychological support.

“Forced displacement disproportionately impacts people with disabilities. They frequently face a higher risk of violence and exploitation, encounter difficulties accessing basic services, and are often excluded from education and employment opportunities,” said HI Country Director in Bangladesh, Sibghatullah AHMED.



Mira Adam,
Sr. Media Officer
Email: [email protected]
Mobile: +1 (202) 855-0301


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