Women and girls make up nearly half of the 258 million people worldwide who have crossed international borders to escape danger or pursue opportunity. Amidst unprecedented levels of forced displacement – with 68.5 million people driven from their homes by the end of 2017 – about half of refugees, too, are women and girls.
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Founder Samira Harnish, an Iraqi immigrant, is named Nansen Award regional finalist from the Americas.
UNHCR is expanding cash-based assistance so that the millions of people that it serves can meet their needs in dignity, are protected and can become more resilient. Taking a bank card to a cash machine in Beirut, Syrian widow Manar Al Sayer taps in a PIN and withdraws a few Lebanese pounds.
1.3 million refugees are currently hosted by Jordan, a country that continues to demonstrate humanitarian leadership in the Syrian refugee crisis. In 2012, UN Women opened its first Oasis— a centre for refugee women and girls to access emergency aid and specialized gender-based violence services at Za’atari refugee camp in northern Jordan. Over time, the scope and impact of the Oasis model has expanded to encompass multi-sectoral services that build women’s resilience and empowerment. Currently, UN Women operates four Oasis centres in two Jordanian camps: Za’atari and Azraq.
The stairwell is the only place they could find with enough space and seclusion for them to study - just one example of their determination to overcome the odds and achieve academic success.
In August 2015, she and her younger sister Yusra took the same hazardous route to Lesvos themselves, as refugees fleeing the war in their native Syria.
Although she was born to Palestinian refugees in Yarmouk camp in Damascus, Lujain looked forward to a bright future while growing up. "We had a house, a car, everything a Syrian citizen had," she recalls.