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Indicator Report 2023

Mural created in 2021 as part of a programme in Queens, New York, in the United States of America that brought together displaced children from El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Mexico and other countries in Latin America.

The Global Compact on Refugees (GCR) Indicator Report is part of the follow-up and review process outlined in the Compact. It is a means of measuring and sustaining progress towards achieving the four objectives of the GCR, based on the GCR Indicator Framework

The first edition of the Indicator Report was published in November 2021, shortly before the High-Level Officials Meeting (HLOM), and reflected on the progress made in the five years since the adoption of the New York Declaration in 2016, helping to steer the discussions which led to the 20 key recommendations from the HLOM

This second edition, the GCR Indicator Report 2023, continues the review of progress made since 2016 towards the core principle of predictable and equitable burden- and responsibility-sharing to improve the situation of refugees and host communities. It is designed to contribute to the evidence base to guide the discussions and development of pledges and contributions at the Global Refugee Forum (GRF) in December 2023. 

The report highlights some examples of sustained progress across the four GCR objectives, such as assisting refugee-hosting countries with lower incomes and increasing refugees’ access to education, economic inclusion, resettlement, and complementary pathways. However, while burden- and responsibility-sharing for hosting refugees slightly improved since 2016, it remained highly inequitable. Accelerated action and scaled-up efforts are needed across all four objectives, with a broader support base. 

Download the full report


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As we look ahead to the Global Refugee Forum in December, let this report be a reminder of what can be accomplished when we work together. Let it inspire us to come together at the GRF in a few weeks time with a sense of energy, passion, and unity in support of refugees and their host communities.

Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees


Image: Mural painted by Syrian, Palestinian and Jordanian girls during a workshop in Amman Al Akhdar, Jordan in 2018. The importance of hospitality and welcoming those who have been displaced is represented by the symbols of pouring tea and an Oud player.
© Artolution, German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), Qudra, Jordan Ministry of Education
Play the video: Three takeaways from the Global Compact on Refugees Indicator Report

Three takeaways from the Global Compact on Refugees Indicator Report

Key takeaways

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More data

Data availability for the GCR indicators has significantly expanded.

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Sustained progress in many areas across the objectives.

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Inequitable sharing

Burden- and responsibility-sharing remained inequitable.

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Immense potential

Accelerated action and scaled-up efforts in all four GCR objectives, with a broader support base needed.

Key findings

Scale of burden and responsibilities for refugees

Reductions in the growth rate of the total number of refugees and other people in need of international protection after the affirmation of the GCR in 2018 reversed, with a record-high number of refugees in 2022. The number of refugees and other people in need of international protection doubled from 2016 to 2022, with over 34.6 million by the end of 2022.

Scaled-up efforts, using the GCR as a blueprint at all levels, are needed without delay to effectively address the growing refugee situation.

Ease pressure on host countries

In 2020-2021, the total volume of Official Development Assistance (ODA) allocated to refugee situations in low-income countries (LICs) and middle-income countries (MICs) amounted to USD 26.4 billion but has been unevenly distributed across refugee situations. 

A broader and well-aligned support base is needed to boost resources, strategic investment, and engagement in refugee situations, particularly in low-income countries.

Enhance refugee self-reliance

Many national governments adopted law and policy environments for enhanced access to work, freedom of movement, and inclusion in national education systems. However, more efforts and support are needed to translate these policies into practice to ensure refugees can effectively access national systems.

Accelerating action and investment to augment economic opportunities, education, and social protection for all refugees and their host communities, particularly the most excluded individuals, is key to reducing poverty levels.


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Abdallah's story

Abdallah is the headmaster of the “Hope” secondary school, which provides courses for out-of-school refugee children and adults in Mbera camp in Mauritania. He is a Malian refugee convinced that inclusion in the national education system is the only solution for the future of young refugees in Mauritania. 

Inclusion is particularly important in the field of education, as it facilitates access for young refugees to higher education, vocational training, and, above all, employment.

© UNHCR/Malika Diagana

Finding solutions

Resettlement departures somewhat rebounded in 2022, after dropping during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the total number of refugees who accessed third-country solutions remained low compared to needs.

Multi-year commitments and coordinated advocacy among a broader base of countries and partners remain essential to meet the targets of the Third Country Solutions for Refugees: Roadmap 2030.
Percentage of the target reached in the number of UNHCR-assisted resettlement departures, 2019-2022. In 2019 this was 106%, dropping to 33% in 2020, 49% in 2021, and 65% in 2022.

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Farhana's story

Born in Bangladesh, Farhana moved to Myanmar at a young age together with her parents and eight siblings. In 2013, ongoing conflict in the country forced the family to flee as refugees. With Malala as her role model, Farhana has been advocating for better education for all and has been serving as a child champion, youth leader, and Ashoka Young Changemaker, and got involved in initiatives such as YuWaah (Generation Unlimited) UNICEF.

Scholarships and programmes specifically designed for refugee students can make a real difference. Simple and accessible application processes, along with mentorship, can help overcome the disproportionate challenges refugees face when looking to study abroad.

Image: Farhana, a Duolingo scholar, on her first day at the University of British Columbia in Canada.
© Duolingo.

Support conditions in countries of origin for return in safety and dignity

New displacement outpaced available solutions, including returns in 2022, with close to two-thirds of refugees living in protracted situations.

Strengthened engagement through the humanitarian, development, and peace nexus is needed to create conducive conditions for sustainable voluntary return and reintegration.
Number of total returnees and share of returnees in total number of refugees, 2010-2022. Since 2016, the number of refugee returnees decreased. Less than one per cent of refugees were able to return to their country of origin in 2022 compared to three per cent in 2016.

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Elodie's story

Elodie Guei Sahe is a dynamic mother of three and full of life. The 36-year-old returned home to Bably-Vaya in the west of Côte d’Ivoire in 2020. In collaboration with four other women returnees, she opened her hair salon called “Seatizi”, which means “the time of suffering is over” in the local language.

I never went to school, but when I saw my mother braiding hair, I developed interest in it and later acquired some training and started the trade, but everything changed with the outbreak of the war.

Image: © UNHCR

Burden and responsibility sharing

Although burden-and responsibility-sharing for hosting refugees has been slowly, but steadily becoming more equitable since 2016, in line with the GCR, it remains highly inequitable overall.

Accelerated actions, scaled-up coordinated efforts across all four GCR objectives, and a broader support base can help make equitable burden- and responsibility-sharing more of a reality.

Investing in data is key to making headway in the lives of refugees and host communities.

Data availability for the GCR indicators has significantly expanded, but the challenge remains in securing timely, comparable, reliable, and disaggregated data.