Refugee Crisis in Europe

Millions of refugees have fled violence and persecution in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries seeking safety in Europe.

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By the end of 2016, nearly 5.2 million refugees and migrants reached European shores, undertaking treacherous journeys from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries torn apart by war and persecution..

For some, this desperate journey will be their last. Thousands have lost their lives or have gone missing since 2015, and an increasing number of women and unaccompanied children continue to take perilous journeys in search of safety.

In 2017, more than 170,000 people risked their lives trying to reach Europe by sea; more than 3,000 of them drowned.

In 2015, half of all refugees crossing the Mediterranean came from Syria, by 2017, that number reduced to only 10 percent.  In the first quarter of 2017, more than 5,300 children arrived in Greece, Italy, Bulgaria and Spain. 69 percent (or 3,800) of these children were unaccompanied minors.

UNHCR is on the ground, with over 600 staff in 20 different locations working to protect refugees and provide lifesaving assistance such as shelter, food, water and medical care to refugees who arrived in Europe. 


Greece: Smiles Return At Safe Haven (2:40)
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