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Our work for refugees and displaced persons

Years of civil war in Syria, violent clashes and persecution in various countries, natural disasters and epidemics, the effects of climate change and forgotten crises: According to the United Nations (UNHCR), 79.5 million people are on the run worldwide, more than half of them (45.7 million) within their own country. (As of 2019)

Experts estimate that climate change, armed conflicts and social inequality will further exacerbate the situation. In recent years, further conflicts have broken out in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Latin America leading people to leave their homes. 


Coronavirus in refugee camps: How we are preparing to fight outbreaks

Although there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19, it is only a matter of time before the disease breaks out in refugee camps. People in camps live under poor hygienic conditions and have to share toilets and access to water.

Since refugees and internally displaced persons live together in a very confined space, a coronavirus outbreak would pose a major threat to people living in camps. We are working on the ground to raise awareness of the virus and take protective measures. We need your immediate support.

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Current situation: Why people have to flee

According to a UNHCR report most people continue to flee from the civil war in Syria: More than 6 million Syrians are internally displaced. In addition, 6.6 million people have been displaced into neighbouring countries. About half of the refugees are children who have not only had to leave their homes, but have also often witnessed the deaths of family members and friends. According to reports, 85 percent of refugees find refuge in economically weak countries that have previously struggled with poverty and scarcity of resources. Most of the refugees live in extreme poverty and are in urgent need of help.



Syria: With more than 13 million refugees, the Syrian civil war is one of the biggest humanitarian crises of our time.



50 years of civil war and violent conflicts have resulted in numerous violent expulsions. According to UNHCR, there 7.8 million people on the run within the country. 

DR Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo is also affected by internal migration and expulsion: Due to political instability, wars and corruption 5 million people have fled already. 


Since August 2017 violence in Myanmar has caused 720,000 Rohingya to emigrate to Bangladesh. No other refugee crisis escalated as quickly as this one.

How do we help?

Together with local partners we have been providing cross-border medical support to people within Syria who cannot or do not want to leave the country and for those Syrians who have fled to neighbouring Turkey and Lebanon. We have also expanded our emergency aid for refugees and displaced persons in northern Iraq.

Malteser International is not only committed to improving the living and health conditions of refugees and displaced persons in the Middle East, but also in many countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.


World Refugee Day 2019

The World Refugee Day recognizes the strength, courage and endurance of millions of women, men and children who have been forced to leave their homes because of persecution, war and violence.

It is a reminder that refugees are not just numbers: People on the run have dreams and desires like everyone else. In our work we have spoken with refugees from different countries and let the answer one question: What do you dream of? Some have shared their experiences with us. Learn more about their tragic, yet also hopeful stories about having to leave their homeland. 


Reports on refugee aid:

Ab refuge for Sirian refugee children

Many refugee children came to Turkey from Syria without their parents. They often have no one to take care of them. We want to give them a safe space where they can thrive.

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More support for countries hosting refugees

Malteser International is urging the international community to do more in helping developing nations respond to refugee situations.

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Mobile medical care for refugees and locals

Malteser International and the Lebanese Association of the Order of Malta are providing primary health care services through a mobile clinic in the province of Akkar.

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Giving a voice to fellow Syrians in exile

Betoul Abras worked in cooperation with Malteser International providing psychosocial support to refugees in Kilis, Turkey.

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