Photo: Tobin Jones

Annual report reflects growing needs

The turnover of the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) set a new record in 2017. The activities of the organization amounted to nearly 420 million Euros. This was an increase of nearly 10 percent compared to 2016 and it reflects the increased needs of refugees and internally displaced persons around the globe.


The many humanitarian crises and conflicts in 2017 are directly reflected in DRC’s financial statements. International activities alone account for nearly 335 million Euros.

“We see fewer arrivals of refugees to Europe and Denmark, but this does not mean that there are fewer refugees in the world. Our employees work around the clock to save lives and protect the rights of refugees and internally displaced persons. More than 80 percent of our work takes place in the conflict areas and neighbouring countries, and our turnover mirrors that. Unfortunately, the need for our assistance is bigger than anytime before”, says Christian Friis Bach, Secretary General of the Danish Refugee Council.

The five largest country operations in 2017 were in Iraq, Somalia, Greece, South Sudan and Uganda. Also, 700,000 people had to flee from Myanmar to Bangladesh over the course of a few months. This was one of the fastest growing crises in 2017. The Rohyngias needed acute humanitarian aid and protection, and the Danish Refugee Council set up an operation in Bangladesh during the fall of 2017.

In Syria the situation continued to deteriorate, and for each Syrian returning in 2017 three others were forced to flee.

“It is fair to say that our financial turnover is inversely proportional with how the world is doing. And it is not doing very well these days. The lack of international solutions and solidarity means that organizations like DRC must step up”, says Christian Friis Bach.

By the end of 2017 DRC had 7,692 employees globally. This was an increase of 721 staff or 10 percent more compared to 2016. The vast majority, i.e. 6,697 employees, were working outside of Denmark in one of the more than 35 country operations.

“Behind the refugee statistics are people in need of help. With all the armed conflicts it can sometimes be hard to keep the optimism alive. But our money is spent helping people who have lost everything. We provide them with shelter, clean water, sanitation and livelihood. We protect their rights and empower them towards a better future. Our vision is still a dignified life for all displaced”, adds the Secretary General.

In Denmark, Danish Refugee Council undertakes a range of tasks involving advisory services for asylum seekers and integration assistance in many municipalities. Furthermore, more than 8,000 volunteers work to support their new fellow citizens integrate into their local society.

Download the report here