For the most part, refugees end up in countries near those that they fled, sometimes in temporary refugee camps run by host governments or the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and sometimes by striking out on their own. For example, as a result of the civil war in Syria, neighboring Turkey currently hosts the world’s largest refugee population of 3.7 million refugees.
Although more than 90 percent of these refugees do not live in camps and often reside in urban areas, 230,000 refugees live in two dozen Turkish-run camps in which shelter, food, and other services are available. UNHCR advises and supports the Turkish government’s refugee assistance operations by verifying the information Syrian refugees provide, giving money and supplies to those in need, and coordinating access to education.
Low- and middle-income countries such as Turkey are home to 84 percent of the world’s refugees and asylum seekers, but most asylum claims are received by high-income countries that offer better economic prospects. Among those, Germany has received the most individual asylum applications of any country since 2015.