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10 refugees who changed the world

Today, there are more than 45.2 million refugees — the most since 1994. The lives of many refugees are forever changed by the conflicts and wars they escape. However, it's not all so bleak. Plenty have gone on to have a major impact and create positive legacies in their new communities. Here's a list of 10 people who escaped some of the world's worst violence but went on to have their brilliance and leadership recognized by a Nobel Prize.

The number of refugees worldwide is going up

There are now more than 45.2 million displaced people — 15.4 million refugees, 937,000 asylum seekers and 28.8 million forced to flee within the borders of their own countries. The crisis is at its worst since 1994, according to a report released today by the United Nations. And more unaccompanied children sought asylum last year than ever before.

Return to Haiti: A day in the life of a broken island

The country continues to stumble toward rebuilding after the earthquake, facing questions about aid money and embezzlement.
(Charles M. Sennott/GlobalPost)

PORT-AU-PRINCE – From the moment you land in Haiti, it is the resiliency of the place that strikes you.

In the early morning light of the first day here, students in crisp uniforms marched like small armies to school, laborers sipped coffee in plastic cups from ubiquitous roadside stands known as ‘chen jambe,’ (Creole slang that translates as “dog crossings"), and the city streets were jammed with the impatient traffic of a country struggling to get back on the road to recovery.


White South African family seeks US asylum, claiming racial discrimination

An Afrikaner family has applied for asylum in the United States, claiming that as white South Africans they face racism back home.
White afrikaner family asylum 2012 02 22Enlarge
Oscar winning Actress Charlize Theron wipes away tears as she meets former South African President Nelson Mandela at Mandela House following her Academy Awards success, on March 11, 2004 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Naashon Zalk/Getty Images)

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — A South African family is seeking asylum in the United States, claiming that as white Afrikaner farmers they face racial discrimination back home.

The family's lawyer has been contacting US academics to try and get scholarly opinions that would help with their case, South African daily the Times reported today. Lawyer Rehim Babaoglu said the family is too afraid to be identified.


Angelina Jolie visits Libya to see "a country in transition"

"I have come to Libya for a variety of reasons, to see a country in transition at every level and to witness efforts to fully realize the promise of the Arab Spring," Jolie said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Somalis flee famine for malnourished Yemen

As the famine grinds on in the Horn of Africa, Somalis are seeking refuge in one of the world’s hungriest countries.
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Aden, a three-year-old Somali refugee with his father Abdille, recovers at the stabilisation centre at Hagadere refugee area. An estimated 3.7 million people in Somalia - around a third of the population - are on the brink of starvation and aid agencies are stretched in trying to cope with a daily influx of Somalis escaping not only drought but the al-Shabab extremists. (TONY KARUMBA/Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)

A sharp increase has been recorded in the numbers of desperate Somali refugees risking their lives in often overcrowded and unseaworthy boats to cross the treacherous Gulf of Aden to Yemen fleeing violence and famine back home.

They arrive in one of the hungriest countries, with the third highest rates of malnutrition in the world.

Read: Yemen's silent emergency

Already 3,700 Somali refugees have reached the coast of Yemen so far in August alone making it the highest monthly arrival rate this year, according to the UN agency for refugees, UNHCR.

The arrivals also mark an earlier than normal start to the traditional peak season for smugglers' boats to arrive from the coastal town of Bossaso in northern Somalia.

The refugees are crossing what aid agencies have termed “the world’s most dangerous refugee route”, fleeing “the unstable security situation, severe drought, high food prices and lack of job opportunities,” they tell UNHCR.

“It is testament to the refugees' desperation that they have chosen to flee to Yemen, which is itself affected by serious unrest,”  said UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards on Friday. “They cross the Gulf of Aden on what are often unseaworthy and overcrowded boats. Many do not survive the dangerous crossing. On Monday, two Somalis drowned when their boat capsized.”


Somali refugees flee famine and war (PHOTOS)

NAIROBI — Somali refugees fleeing famine and war, seek food and shelter at Kenya's overcrowded Dadaab refugee camp.   

Food arrives for Somali famine victims (PHOTOS)

Thousands of malnourished Somali refugees received some relief from the first of many expected food airlifts to arrive in Somalia and Kenya. 

East African drought uproots thousands

East Africa refugees seeking food and water also risk encounters with Somalia's Islamist militants who might use the disguise of refugees to enter Kenya. 
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