According to the UN Refugee Agency, there were 26.4 million refugees worldwide in 2020. Fifteen countries around the world experienced an increase of at least 25,000 refugees between 2019 and 2020.
The World Refugee Day 2021 theme is inclusion, which emphasizes the advantages to both refugees and their host countries of integrating refugee populations into national health, education, and employment systems. Inclusion fosters self-reliance, which in turn eases pressure on host governments and enables refugees to contribute to their local host communities as well as rebuild their countries upon returning home. Host governments, donors, and humanitarian and development agencies can support inclusion of refugees, facilitate their right to work, integrate refugee children into local schools, provide identification cards, and guarantee freedom of movement. In 2020 and 2021, inclusion of refugees in COVID-19 vaccination plans and campaigns is a key U.S. and UN humanitarian priority. Many countries have included refugees in their national vaccination plans for COVID-19 and several countries have already begun to vaccinate refugees according to the same eligibility criteria as host country citizens.