We Stand With Refugees

June 20th is World Refugee Day – A Call for Solidarity and Support

As World Refugee Day is observed, ShelterBox USA reflects on the resilience and strength of the individuals forced to flee their homes due to conflict, persecution, or the devastating impacts of climate change. The United Nations estimates that more than 120 million people are displaced, underscoring the urgent need for solidarity and support.

ShelterBox USA stands together with refugees around the world. This year, World Refugee Day focuses on solidarity with refugees. As a humanitarian relief organization that supports people fleeing the world’s worst conflict zones, ShelterBox USA recognizes that refugees need solidarity and help to find solutions that will enable them to return home and rebuild their communities and lives. Check out our new page where we’re sharing some facts about refugees and dispelling some of the myths here.

ShelterBox USA’s commitment extends to providing essential aid, including emergency relief tents, shelter repair kits, solar lights, water filters, hygiene kits, mattresses, blankets, and complete cooking sets.

From Turkey and Syria to Pakistan, Ukraine to Gaza, Cameroon to Chad, and beyond, ShelterBox USA supports refugees, internally displaced people (IDPs), and those affected by conflict by offering vital shelter assistance during their most vulnerable moments. Many of these individuals are seeking refuge in neighboring countries, such as Sudanese refugees in Chad and victims of Boko Haram violence in Cameroon.

Meet Kaltoumi


One such individual is Kaltoumi, a courageous mother who fled Nigeria with her infant daughter after enduring repeated attacks by Boko Haram. Arriving at Cameroon’s Minawao Refugee Camp eight years ago, Kaltoumi faced daunting challenges but has shown incredible strength in rebuilding her life amidst uncertainty. Today, she is a mother of six children, who are in good health, go to school, and have a secure home. We encourage you to watch her video below, where she shares her story of resilience in her own words.

The aid provided by ShelterBox USA is lifesaving, particularly for vulnerable children like Kaltoumi’s daughter, who are disproportionately affected by displacement and who are dramatically overrepresented among the world’s refugees. We see the stabilizing impact that a shelter can have in enabling parents to return to work, children to school, and for recovery to begin. Shelter is the first step in recovery when one has been displaced from their home.

As World Refugee Day is commemorated, we ask you to join us in reaffirming our commitment to supporting refugees worldwide. Charitable support enables ShelterBox USA to deliver hope, dignity, and the building blocks to recovery to those who have lost everything.



What is a refugee?

A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee their home due to conflict, violence, or persecution. By the end of 2023, there were 37.4 million refugees under UNHCR’s mandate, reflecting an 8% increase from the previous year.

This rise includes people escaping:

  • Rapid escalations of conflict in Sudan
  • Gang-related violence in Haiti
  • Further forced displacement from countries like Afghanistan and Ukraine

In the last decade, the global number of refugees has more than tripled. Additionally, 5.9 million people live in refugee-like situations, and 5.8 million others are in need of international protection.

Understanding the vast number of refugees worldwide underscores the urgent need for humanitarian assistance and support. ShelterBox USA is dedicated to providing vital aid to those displaced by these crises.

What is an asylum seeker?

When people flee their own country and seek sanctuary in another country, they apply for asylum.

Asylum is the right to be recognized as a refugee and receive legal protection and material assistance.

What is an IDP?

Internally Displaced People (IDPs), are people who have fled their homes and their villages but are still living within their home country.

As of the end of 2023, IDMC reported 75.9 million IDPs, of which 68.3 million remained displaced
due to conflict and violence, and 7.7 million due to disasters.

Source: UNHCR


Meet Basel


I smile for my children so that they do not feel the difficult situation we are in.”

In January 2021, severe storms lashed through displacement camps in Syria, destroying the tents and belongings of thousands of families who had already lost their homes to the violent conflict. Many now faced a brutal Syrian winter without shelter or warm clothing.

Basel and his three young children had already spent two years in their camp and he feared they would not survive a third. But with the help of generous ShelterBox supporters, we provided Basel with a Shelter Kit to secure the tent and protect his family from harsh rains and frigid temperatures. We also gave his children winter coats and boots, keeping them warm enough to play during the day and sleep through the night. As the Syrian conflict enters its 11th year, the futures of families like Basel’s remain uncertain.

For now, all he can do is put on a brave face for the sake of his children.


Meet Ana


As of February 2022, at least 785,000 people have been displaced in Cabo Delgado and surrounding areas in Mozambique, although experts say that the exact figure is likely much higher.

Attacks on villages continue to displace more and more people, including Ana, who fled after witnessing insurgents burning homes and killing civilians in her village. She tells of the many difficulties displaced people face, including lack of access to food and crops, health problems, depression, as well as mosquitos. She is thankful for the aid ShelterBox has provided, especially the kitchen set that allows her to cook meals for her family.

Ana remains vigilant and encourages others in her camp to do the same. Once you’ve witnessed and fled the violence she has, it is difficult to ever feel safe again.

The first days at the camp were the worst. We had no mats, no blankets. We had almost nothing.”

Meet Alem


We cannot go back to our home, as it is still not safe for us to do so. We do not have a lot of support and we are in high need of it.”

Ethiopia is experiencing a complex humanitarian emergency due to conflict, insecurity, and the effects of climate change. Conflict in the Tigray region has caused over 2.6 million people to be displaced and left 9 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.

As the conflict intensified, Alem fled with her children to Mekelle, Ethiopia. She was living in a cramped collective center along with many other displaced people where they experienced food shortages and an overall lack of support. It is especially challenging for those with children, she says. Alem was very happy with the items she received from ShelterBox, especially the cooking pots and blankets.

Despite receiving ShelterBox support, Alem and her family continue to face many issues in their daily lives, and Ethiopia continues to be one of the world’s most underfunded crises.


Meet Salupha


In 2009, the terrorist group Boko Haram launched an insurgency in Nigeria, forging a path of death, destruction, and displacement in the country and nearby Cameroon ever since.

For Salupha, the true “nightmare” began in 2016, when he was kidnapped by the group and forced to leave his life behind. After two years in captivity, Salupha managed to escape, wandering through various villages for months until finally being reunited with his family. In addition to dealing with the death of his wife, Salupha struggled to find adequate shelter and clean water for his family. But thanks to ShelterBox supporters, we were able to provide Salupha’s family with shelter materials and essential household items.

Salupha is especially pleased with the water filter because, although much about his family’s situation remains uncertain, he can have peace of mind knowing that their water supply is safe.

It was almost midnight when we fled with fear in our stomachs. We ran into the forest aimlessly, without knowing where we were going.”

Meet Eshraq


We just feel afraid and anxious. We are suffering a lot. Our life is worse than anyone can imagine.”

Driven by civil war, extreme weather, and a failing economy, Yemen is home to one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

One day, Eshraq and her family joined the millions of Yemeni families currently displaced when their home was destroyed by floods and heavy rains. Nearly all of their possessions, from Eshraq’s refrigerator to her children’s clothes, were washed away in minutes. Safe housing options were already slim due to the conflict, meaning that Eshraq’s family now struggles to share a one-room structure, with the children having to sleep outside at night. Of her country’s many instabilities, Eshraq is most fearful of the impact disease and further flooding could have on her family’s safety.