What Is a Refugee

And What Does Internally Displaced Person Mean?

What's the Difference between a refugee and an internally displaced person?

Right now, around the world there are 79.5 million people who have been forcibly displaced by conflict. But they aren’t all ‘refugees’.

A refugee is a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, violence, or conflict. For some people, when they flee their home, the safest place for them to go is into another country. Sometimes this is simply due to proximity – if the next closest village is across a border, that is likely the safest journey. For others however, fleeing to another country is the only choice. War and state sponsored persecution are other possible reasons why it would be safer to flee across borders into another country. Right now, there are 26 million refugees worldwide.

Internally Displaced People (IDPs), are people who have fled their homes and their villages, but are still living within their home country. Conflict and violence has forced 45.7 million people around the world to flee their homes and escape to a safer part of their country.

What's Happening In Burkina Faso

Right now, families in Burkina Faso are experiencing one of the fastest-growing humanitarian disasters. In the month of April alone, more than 71,000 people newly registered as IDPs in the country.

Armed and violent extremists have forced over 1 million people to flee from their homes for safety. Jihadist groups are fighting each other over ideological differences and control for territory. The government has launched military operations against these militant groups, but lack are lacking resources. More than 3 million people are also facing food insecurity as a result of the conflict as farmers have had to abandon their land and crops to flee violence.

On the night of June 4-5th, an attack occurred in a village in the Sahel region. The attacks involved the looting and burning of villagers’ homes, and lead to the deaths of over 100 people (including children).

This conflict is ongoing and continues to escalate.

How Is ShelterBox Helping?

ShelterBox has been working with families affected by this conflict since August 2020. To date, over 1,300 families have received aid.

Families in Burkina Faso received tarpaulins and rope to build new homes. Water carriers, buckets, and soap to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. And kitchen sets, sleeping mats, thermal blankets, mosquito nets, and solar lights to aid in their recovery.

Currently, operations teams are preparing to assist another 1,800 families that continue to be displaced by this conflict.

Explore More

What Is Conflict

ShelterBox is committed to supporting families in their recovery from conflict. But what is conflict?

Ethiopia Conflict

Ongoing crisis in Tigray has forced thousands to flee their homes.

What is a Displacement Camp

Displacement camps are places for refugees and internally displaced people. After fleeing violence and conflict, families often have no where to go.