World, Middle East

Palestinians make up world’s largest refugee population

There are around 5.9 million Palestinian refugees around the world

Anees Suheil Barghouti   | 20.06.2018
Palestinians make up world’s largest refugee population

RAMALLAH, Palestine

There are around 5.9 million Palestinian refugees around the world, making up the largest refugee population, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).

In a statement on Wednesday, the PCBS said Palestinian refugees live in 58 camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and other countries, while many others have settled in refugee camps in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip.

“Palestinian refugees in the West Bank who are registered with UNRWA in 2017 accounted for up to 17% of the total registered refugees against 24.4% in the Gaza Strip,” it said in the statement, which was released on the occasion of the World Refugee Day.

Jordan has the largest number of Palestinian refugees with 39% of the total refugee population, followed by Syria and Lebanon 10.5% and 9.1% respectively.

According to PCBS, 43% of Palestinians in the State of Palestine are displaced refugees.

The poverty rate among Palestinian refugees registered 39% in 2017, while it reached 22.3% among non-refugees, the statement said.

“Unemployment rate among refugees reached up to 34.7% compared to 22.8% among non-refugees in 2017,” it added.

Illiteracy among Palestinian refugees in 2017 for individuals aged 15 years and above reached 3.0%, while it reached 3.6% among non-refugees, the PCBS said.

The World Refugee Day comes a month after the 70th anniversary of the Nakba (Catastrophe), the term used by the Palestinians to refer to the creation of Israel in 1948.

The Palestinian-Israeli conflict dates back to 1917 when the British government, in the now-famous "Balfour Declaration," called for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people".

For many Palestinians, the right of return to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel is an inalienable right.

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