A crewmember from the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) Phoenix vessel holds a child as they wait to transfer refugees and migrants to a waiting Italian coastguard ship after being rescued at sea off Lampedusa, Italy.
CNN  — 
migrant boat fire
Dramatic escape as migrant boat catches fire
00:43 - Source: CNN

We are in the midst of the WORLD’S WORST refugee crisis in history. A crisis that brings with it overwhelming numbers, huge challenges for countries and communities affected, untold misery – and hope.

More than 65 MILLION people are now counted as forcibly displaced by the United Nations. That’s like the entire population of the UK or France, or about as many as everyone in New York state, Texas and Florida – all forced from their homes. Just over one-third are refugees, people forced to flee their countries because of persecution, war, or violence.

kamau pic 1
How are immigrants and refugees different?
01:53 - Source: CNN

CHILDREN are disproportionately affected – more than half of refugees are under 18.

Amanpour: What my son and I learned at a Syrian refugee camp

MORE PEOPLE are displaced every day – You could fill about 630 school buses with people forced from their homes. Every day.

An interactive exhibit by Doctors Without Borders immerses visitors in the many challenges that refugees encounter.
Walk in the shoes of a refugee
01:13 - Source: CNN

The story of one rescuer and a desperate day at sea

On the run in their own countries

WAR is a major factor. More than half of refugees come from three war-torn countries – Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia, the UN says.

aleppo refugee turkey 2
Heartbreaking account of Aleppo refugee
00:57 - Source: CNN

Others flee FAMINE or PERSECUTION. Starvation is stalking millions in Africa in 2017. And in Myanmar, there are about 1 million Rohingyas – a persecuted ethnic and religious minority who say they are being increasingly targeted and attacked.

Some take refuge in the first safe place they find. Others journey on, risking all, in the hopes of finding a better new life.

360 Video: Inside a refugee camp

DEVELOPING COUNTRIES host the greatest number of refugees.

Only 1% of refugees are RESETTLED IN ANY ONE YEAR. 37 MOSTLY RICHER NATIONS work with the United Nations to accept refugees for resettlement. 150,000 got new homes in 2016.

How the US screens refugees (very carefully)

How some European countries are tightening their refugee policies

In 2017, the modern world is kicking up some SURPRISES – such as refugees leaving the US for Canada.

Emerson landscape sign or whatever. Its a sign in Emerson, but really the only thing besides the snow keeping people between Canada and North Dakota or Minnesota, whose borders are in the distance
Refugees climbed through snow to get to Canada
03:05 - Source: CNN

But much continues to be the same. Familes feeling compelled to leave their homes and almost everything else behind. The human tide welcomed by some, rejected by others. And the key thing that is not changing – the numbers show no signs of reducing.

How to help

Here are resources from CNN’s Impact Your World team: