Syria is the worst refugee crisis of our generation

Insight

Greece Migrants A Syrian mother hugs her children after they arrived from Turkey at the Greek island of Lesbos on an overcrowded inflatable boat , Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015. Greece’s government says it is preparing a rent-assistance program to cope with a growing number of refugees, who face the oncoming winter and mounting resistance in Europe. (AP Photo/Santi Palacios)

In July 2015, the United Nations reported that the number of people fleeing the war in Syria had surpassed 4 million, making it the worst refugee crisis of our generation. The sheer scale of the Syrian exodus becomes evident through a comparison with several other conflicts that have taken place since 1991.

Even though the chart below focuses on selected conflicts since 1991, Afghanistan has been in turmoil far longer than that. Since the Soviet invasion in 1979, an estimated 2.6 million Afghans have been forced to flee their homeland while the genocide in Rwanda resulted in 2.3 million people being displaced.

This chart shows refugees displaced by war in selected conflicts since 1991.
Syria is the worst refugee crisis of our generation