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14 Things You Need To Know About The Heartbreaking Refugee Crisis

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    Photo: ARMEND NIMANI/AFP/Getty Images.


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    The world is experiencing the worst refugee crisis since World War II.

    Entire families are forced to abandon their friends, jobs, and families, fitting their lives into a single small bag, or otherwise leaving the only homes they have ever known. They come from all over the world, fleeing violence and persecution in places that include Afghanistan, Myanmar, Sudan, and Eritrea.

    One of the most heartbreaking cases, however, is Syria. More than 4 million people have left the country since pro-democracy protests in 2011 turned into a chaotic civil war. The conflict has also forced another 7.6 million Syrians to flee their homes for safer areas within the state. Often, they are forced to move many times, as military forces and the many different rebel groups fight for control of territory.

    Even those who escape the nation's borders face deteriorating conditions in overcrowded refugee camps, where resources and opportunities are increasingly scarce, and many are now leaving those places behind, too, in a desperate bid to reach Europe.

    "The Syria crisis is the worst humanitarian crisis of our generation," Brian Hansford, a United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees spokesman, told Refinery29. As one Syrian described the situation to him, it's "worse than desperate."

    Refinery29 is committed to covering the human face of the conflict — how this crisis impacts real men, women, and children every day. We spoke with Syrian women on the ground in Turkey to find out firsthand what it's like to risk everything in the hopes of creating a better life for them and their children. You can read their powerful stories in the first part of our multimedia series, Behind the Headlines: Daughters of Paradise, on November 10.

    Refinery29 has also partnered with USA for UNHCR to support refugees around the world. You can make a difference with your donation here:

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  2. Illustrated by Elliot Salazar.


  3. Photo: ARMEND NIMANI/AFP/Getty Images.


  4. Photo: Saleh Mahmoud Laila/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.


  5. Illustrated by Elliot Salazar.


  6. Photo: Pool Benainous/Hounsfield/Getty Images.