What would you pack to survive?

If you suddenly had to leave your home, what would you pack to survive? Your mobile phone? A toothbrush? Some clothes? A water bottle? Who would you bring with you? 


Across the world, 20 people are forced to flee their homes every minute – with no survival pack. 


They don’t have time to pack bags, secure their homes, go to the bank or even wait for the rest of their loved ones to arrive – many leave with just the clothes on their backs. 


The horrifying statistic keeps growing – there are now 65.6 million people on the move worldwide, the highest number ever recorded by the United Nations. Nearly 22.5 million of them are refugees and over half are children, under the age of 18.


Fleeing conflict, disaster and poverty, these men, women and children are forced to leave everything behind, often to be refused sanctuary elsewhere. 


Over one million Rohingya people have escaped unimaginable atrocities in Myanmar and are now living in over-crowded camps in Bangladesh. After seven years of conflict in Syria, more than half of the population – nearly 12 million people – have fled from their homes. The world’s largest humanitarian crisis is now in Yemen, where 82% of the population needs emergency assistance and over three million are on the move.


Behind all these figures are the men, women and children, who have lost their homes, livelihoods, family members and friends and been forced to make treacherous journeys to find safety and dignity. People like Shompa from Myanmar. 


Shompa* (20) holds her daughter Iffat*in their tent in Balukhali refugee camp in Bangladesh.

Shompa* was six months pregnant when her village was attacked and she was forced to flee, alongside her family, friends and neighbours.


The journey was long and dangerous. Shompa walked for nine days and during that time they were attacked and some of her neighbours were killed.


“I was so afraid for my baby. I worried that I would give birth too soon.”


However, Shompa made it to a refugee camp in Bangladesh, where she was reunited with her husband and delivered their baby girl in safety two months later.  


Shompa is adjusting to her new life in Bangladesh and is already planning for her family’s future.


“We left home with nothing. Our daughter is the most important thing we have now. She means more to me than wealth, more than property or any other riches. Unless things change, it is safer for her to grow up here in Bangladesh.

*Names changed to protect identities


Will you stand with the millions of people forced to flee with no survival pack?

Since 2016, over 61,000 people across the island of Ireland have added their support to our Right to Refuge campaign, calling on governments and decision makers to do more to protect people struggling to survive in unimaginable humanitarian crises.


Together we’ve achieved amazing things – from taking the call of Right to Refuge supporters to the UN’s first refugee and migration summit to seeing a Bill passed in the Seanad (Irish Senate) that will make it easier for refugee families to stay together.


By joining the campaign, supporters have called on governments and decision makers to ensure that those affected by conflict, disaster and poverty are welcomed, protected and have access to essentials like water, food and shelter.


Because everyone deserves to live in safety and everyone has the right to refuge when their safety and dignity is threatened.

Oxfam in Greece: refugee children's paintings
Oxfam are providing child friendly spaces for children seeking refuge in Greece Photo: Oxfam

Oxfam’s work with refugees and migrants

At a time when refugees are in urgent need of support, Oxfam is taking action.


Alongside campaigning for change, our supporters help us to be on the ground in times of crisis, provide life-saving assistance like clean water and sanitation, food, shelter, blankets and stoves – basics that mean the world to families who have lost everything.


We are working in countries where refugees need us most, including Yemen, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo, as well as in neighbouring countries which host the majority of refugees like Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. We are also supporting people displaced within their own countries, like the Central African Republic.


We’re working to protect and support people forced to flee – will you help us?