Refugee Health

In 2015, over 65.3 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide, with 21.3 million becoming refugees. Each day, 33,972 people are forced to flee their homes because of war, violence, or persecution. As the UN and other NGOs are stretched thin trying to find shelter and basic necessities to supply such a large demand, the health concerns of refugees are often under addressed. Concerns such as inadequate shelter, hypothermia, the spread of communicable diseases, and much more. Begin by identifying the needs of a specific refugee target setting and prioritize an aspect of refugee quality of living and health. Then, design and prototype a robust, simple solution that can be fabricated at low cost and implemented by the users. Also take into consideration the effect of migration on especially vulnerable populations. For example, female refugees often face additional challenges of sexual and reproductive health and violence, while children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to respiratory infections and gastrointestinal illnesses.

While we have compiled a list of resources to help you in learning more about refugee health, THIS LIST IS NOT EXHAUSTIVE. Treat it as a starting point to begin your research, but dive deeper into the topics that you are most passionate about.

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General Information

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) Statistics:

Refugee Health Profiles for various groups ~~~ lots of helpful information

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Refugee Camp Conditions

Nutrition in protracted refugee situations and camps**

Migration and Health Key Issues:

The Failure of Refugee Camps — OpEd 

Critical Issues in Syrian Refugee Camps in Iraq:

Healthcare access and health concerns among Syrian refugees living in camps or urban settings:

Iraqi Healthcare and Nutrition in Camps/Urban settings

Healthcare Access and Conditions for Congolese in Refugee Camps:

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Child Refugees

“Over half of the world’s refugees are children. Many will spend their entire childhoods away from home, sometimes separated from their families. They may have witnessed or experienced violent acts and, in exile, are at risk of abuse, neglect, violence, exploitation, trafficking or military recruitment.”


Guideline of the Protection and Care of Refugee Children by UNICEF:

Infant Mortality: 

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Gender-based Violence and Reproductive Health

The issue of gender-based violence reaches every corner of the world. The numbers of women and girls affected by this problem are staggering. According to World Health Organization (WHO) data from 2013, one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or abused in some other way – most often by someone she knows. One in five women is sexually abused as a child, according to a 2014 report. 

Sexual and Gender-Based VIolence against Refugees, Returnees and Internally Displaced Persons:

Reproductive health and violence against displaced Syrian women in Lebanon:

Pregnant Refugees in Europe:

Family Planning:

Syrian Refugees and Childbirth: 

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Resettled Refugees and Healthcare

Access to healthcare for refugees in America:

Health Statistics for US Refugee populations:

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Mental Health

Syrian Refugees mental conditions:

Congolese Refugees mental conditions:

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Refugee Mortality Rates

Prevention of Excess Mortality in Refugee and Displaced Populations in Developing Countries:

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Somali Refugees

Global Somali Diaspora


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Syrian Refugees

According to World Vision, “The crisis in Syria affects more than 12 million people—more than those affected by Hurricane Katrina, the Haiti earthquake, and the Indian Ocean tsunami combined.” 

Aid and Asylum maps:

Barriers to Healthcare for Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Iraq**

Summary of general Syrian refugee health needs**

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Innovation currently in place ~~ for inspiration

How to Build the Perfect Refugee Camp — OpEd 

DadaabNet: Wiring the World’s Largest Refugee Camp:

Projects currently being done by the UN Refugee Agency: