Issue Brief on “Covid in the Camps: Challenges to Refugees in the Middle East”

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Conflicts and wars have become trademarks of the modern Middle East. The disputes have led to thousands of people fleeing their homes and taking shelter in neighboring countries. According to the latest figures available by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there are more than 70 million displaced people worldwide.[1] Out of this number approximately 40 percent are refugees.[2] In the Middle East, the refugees are primarily from two countries- Syria and Palestine. The displacement has placed considerable burden on the region as a whole. It has also led to a systematic degeneration of refugee rights and standard of living.

Lebanon hosts nearly 200,000 Palestinian and about 1.5 million Syrian refugees.[3] In Jordan, there are more than 2 million Palestinian refugees[4] as well as almost 660,000[5] Syrian war escapees. Turkey provides shelter to the largest number of Syrian refugees. Only 64,000 of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees live in refugee camps while the rest are spread across 81 provinces of Turkey.[6]

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