Myths & Facts

Myths & Facts: Where Do Refugees Live?

It’s easy to think that most refugees live in camps.

Reporting about refugees frequently shows aerial photos of tent cities, makeshift settlements and overcrowded camps.

While this is the difficult reality for more than 6.2 million refugees, approximately 75 percent of refugees live outside of camps

Refugees living in cities, suburban and rural environments struggle to find safety and adequate shelter. Living conditions can be harsh, and lack basic services like electricity or heat.

In addition to sub-standard housing, urban dwellings are often extremely expensive for refugees who left their home countries with little or no money and face difficult job prospects in their host nations.


For example, Syrian refugee Abdelsalam and his family fled to Tripoli, Lebanon in 2017 to escape extreme violence. The city is home to nearly 300,000 people, and finding affordable housing is a challenge.

Abdelsalam’s family pays $156 a month for their unheated apartment. He earns $6 a day, which must cover medical care, food and fuel in addition to rent. Last winter, the family received cash assistance from UNHCR to help pay for much-needed medical treatment. 

Seventy-five percent of refugees worldwide live outside of camp settings and rely on UNHCR’s cash assistance program to help meet their critical needs which include housing, food, medicine and other basic needs. You can help provide hope and lifesaving supplies to more refugee families like Abdelsalam's. Become a monthly donor today.

Aug 9 2018