Europe Situation

Nadia and her two young daughters were caught up in conflict in Iraq.

They fled their home, hoping to make it to Europe. But they got only as far as the mountains on the Turkish border – where survival is tough and many children die of hunger.
Photo: ©UNHCR/Orestis Seferoglou

300,000 people like Nadia are still living in that mountain settlement – starving, scared and urgently in need of help.

Shelter

for vulnerable families arriving with nothing. 

Cash Assistance

to help people afford survival essentials.

Legal Advice

so that refugees can claim asylum and start new lives.

What’s happening in Europe?

Persecution, conflict and human rights violations are forcing people to flee their homes and seek safety in Europe. Many face treacherous journeys and risk their lives to reach their destination.

UNHCR is working hard to help families who have survived dangerous treks through the mountains or voyages across the Mediterranean. We’re also ensuring there are more safe, legal routes into Europe and helping new arrivals to get accommodation, cash assistance and be aware of their asylum rights.

Where in Europe are refugees fleeing to?

Most refugees arrive in Mediterranean facing countries like Turkey, Italy and Greece – their first ports of call after crossing into Europe. Many of these families settle there, although others move elsewhere in search of work or better living conditions. UNHCR is also supporting thousands of families displaced by conflict inside Ukraine.

What dangers do they face en route?

Many families undergo long, exhausting journeys through the mountains, or board unsafe, overcrowded vessels and risk being lost at sea. The danger doesn’t end once they reach Europe – those moving onwards report numerous types of abuse, including being pushed back across borders. Learn more in UNHCR’s Desperate Journeys Report.

How many people lose their lives entering by sea?

Since the beginning of 2017, over 2,700 people are believed to have died or gone missing while crossing the Mediterranean Sea to seek safety from conflict and persecution.

What is UNHCR doing to help?

UNHCR is providing a broad range of support in Europe – offering humanitarian and cash assistance, providing accommodation, responding to sexual and gender-based violence, helping with the integration of refugee communities and supporting people with specific needs, including separated and unaccompanied children.

Where can I access the latest data and reports?

For the latest reports, data and stories about the refugee situation and UNHCR’s response across Europe overall, visit UNHCR’s Europe Portal. You can also find specific portals for Ukraine and Central Mediterranean

UNHCR’s Desperate Journeys Report looks at the latest refugee flows into Europe.

Did you know that 1.5 million people remain displaced by ongoing conflict in Ukraine in 2019?

Twelve-year-old Ali left behind his home, school and friends.

Now living on the Greek island of Kos, he’d be missing out on his education if it wasn’t for the support of UNHCR.

Thanks to its supporters, UNHCR can help run a non-formal school in a converted restaurant on Kos, where Ali can learn, make friends and gain the skills that will stand him in good stead for life.

Photo: ©UNHCR/Achilleas Zavallis

Twelve-year-old Ali left behind his home, school and friends.

Now living on the Greek island of Kos, he’d be missing out on his education if it wasn’t for the support of UNHCR.

Thanks to its supporters, UNHCR can help run a non-formal school in a converted restaurant on Kos, where Ali can learn, make friends and gain the skills that will stand him in good stead for life.

Photo: ©UNHCR/Achilleas Zavallis

Share This