And what does Internally Displaced Person mean?


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 have forced 45.7 million people around the world to flee their homes and escape to a safer part of their country.

What is a refugee?

A refugee is a person forced to flee their country because of war, violence, or persecution.

Over half of all refugees around the world come from just five countries: Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar, and Somalia.

The refugee crisis is far from over. Every minute, 20 people around the world leave everything behind to escape war, persecution, and terror.

They flee in search of a safer place for themselves and their children, often seeking asylum in other countries.

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.

Conflict and violence have forced 45.7 million people around the world to flee their homes and escape to a safer part of their country.

But climate change is also pushing people to flee. 41 people a minute are forced from their homes by extreme weather events.

Floods, storms, and droughts will continue to worsen as temperatures rise, affecting people all over the world.

Source: UNHCRHelp Refugees


A growing Crisis

Map showing location of Burkina Faso in the heart of West Africa

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 lacks 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.


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.

You can help families displaced by the violence by supporting this life-saving work.

Donate Now

a Mother and son use some of the kitchen ware donated by people like you

Aguiratou's Story

Aguiratou and her son

Aguiratou was internally displaced after being forced to flee her home in Burkina Faso.

“Because of the concern over our security, we left our village to settle somewhere else. Before we left our village, we were renting, but we could no longer afford the house because we arrived at the new village empty-handed.

“Feeding and clothing ourselves was a real challenge, but we have since been supported by ShelterBox and Help.

“Now we have an emergency shelter, mosquito nets, kitchen utensils, mats, blankets, lamps, and latrines”.

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