I woke up thinking about the entry of my portraits of IDP’s. I looked up some statistics from the UNHCR about their numbers. Some sobering information to start your day.

Analysis of refugee data reveals two major patterns. First, the vast majority of refugees are hosted by neighbouring countries with over 80 per cent remaining within their region of origin.

Second, available information indicates that the number of urban refugees continues to grow. It is estimated that half of the refugee population was residing in urban areas at the end of 2007.


While the number of refugees and IDPs falling under UNHCR’s responsibility was estimated at 25.1 million, available information suggests that a total of 67 million people had been forcibly displaced at the end of 2007 (see box). This includes 16 million refugees, of whom 11.4 million fall under UNHCR’s mandate and some 4.6 million Palestinian refugees under the responsibility of the United Nations

Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The number of IDPs is estimated at 51 million worldwide; some 26 million were displaced as a result of armed conflict and another 25 million were displaced by natural disasters. In addition, while often not considered as being displaced per se, it is estimated that there are some 12 million stateless people worldwide.


Category of forced displacement Total (in mln) 

Refugees under UNHCR mandate 11.4 

Refugees under UNRWA mandate 4.6 

Total number of refugees 16.0 

Conflict-generated IDPs 26.0 

Natural disaster IDPs 25.0 

Total number of IDPs 51.0 

Total number of refugees and IDPs 67.0