Inside the World’s 10 Largest Refugee Camps
Today, there are more refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) than at any point since World War II. Driven from their homes by conflict, persecution, environmental calamity, or dire economic straits, these refugees—more than half of whom are children—have been deprived of their statehood, material possessions, and in many cases, their loved ones. They seek solace in purpose-built refugee camps and unplanned settlements, where they wait out their displacement, or attempt to begin life anew.
Most of the world’s refugee camps were designed as temporary facilities. However, many have grown and developed into fully fledged cities, replete with vibrant economies, systems of governance, and civic institutions.
Refugee camps are monuments to human suffering, and the sheer size of these settlements testifies to the severity of forced displacement around the world. Yet, the settlements are also spaces of hope and optimism: for many inhabitants, these camps represent a stepping stone on the path to safety and prosperity.
Adapted from UNHCR.