Country Profiles


Afghanistan

Languages: Afghan Persian or Dari (official) 77% (Dari functions as the lingua franca), Pashto (official) 48%, Uzbek 11%, English 6%, Turkmen 3%, Urdu 3%, Pashayi 1%, Nuristani 1%, Arabic 1%, Balochi 1% (2017 est. from the CIA World Factbook)

Religions: Muslim 99.7% (Sunni 84.7 – 89.7%, Shia 10 – 15%), other 0.3% (2009 est. from CIA World Factbook)

Afghan Community Profile

This is a guide provided by the Office of Refugee Heath Coordinator of Arizona and is meant to provide a general cultural orientation and does not describe every person from this community.

5 Things to Know About Afghan Refugees

Refugees from Afghanistan comprise the largest protracted refugee population in Asia, and the second largest refugee population in the world. In light of the increasingly deteriorating security situation in many parts of the country, the violence continues to drive people from their homes in 2018.

The World Factbook – Afghanistan

Learn about Afghanistan’s background, geography, people and society, government, economy, energy, communications, military and security, transportation, terrorism, and transnational issues. View the one page summary here.

 

Bhutan

Languages: Sharchhopka 28%, Dzongkha (official) 24%, Lhotshamkha 22%, other 26% (includes foreign languages) (2005 est. CIA World Factbook)

Religions: Lamaistic Buddhist 75.3%, Indian- and Nepali-influenced Hinduism 22.1%, other 2.6% (2005 est. CIA World Factbook)

Bhutanese Community Profile

This is a guide provided by the Office of Refugee Heath Coordinator of Arizona and is meant to provide a general cultural orientation and does not describe every person from this community.

Bhutanese Refugee Health Profile

This refugee health profile provides key health and cultural information about specific refugee groups resettling in the United States. Information is gathered from the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the U.S. Department of State, scientific research, and many other sources.

Bhutanese Refugees in Nepal

Refugee Backgrounders provide U.S. resettlement communities with basic information to better understand and serve their new clients. Backgrounders include information about a population’s history, culture, religion, language, education, and resettlement needs. Information provided by CORE.

Bhutanese Refugees in the U.S.

Refugees from Bhutan speak about their refugee background, experiences learning English in the United States, employment opportunities, education for children and adults, and other matters that affect their daily life.

The World Factbook – Bhutan

Learn about Bhutan’s background, geography, people and society, government, economy, energy, communications, military and security, transportation, and transnational issues.

 

Burma (Myanmar)

Languages: Burmese (official, CIA World Factbook)

Religions: Buddhist 87.9%, Christian 6.2%, Muslim 4.3%, Animist 0.8%, Hindu 0.5%, other 0.2%, none 0.1% (2014 est. CIA World Factbook)

Burmese Refugee Health Profile

This refugee health profile provides key health and cultural information about specific refugee groups resettling in the United States. Information is gathered from the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the U.S. Department of State, scientific research, and many other sources.

Karen Community Profile

This is a guide provided by the Office of Refugee Heath Coordinator of Arizona and is meant to provide a general cultural orientation and does not describe every person from this community.

Refugees from Burma – Considerations for Health Providers

Designed for health care professionals and others helping new refugee arrivals adjust to their resettlement communities, this health profile provides basic information about refugees from Burma, their health experiences, and cultural beliefs that may influence their approach to health.

Refugees from Burma – Their Backgrounds and Refugee Experiences

Refugee Backgrounders provide U.S. resettlement communities with basic information to better understand and serve their new clients. Backgrounders include information about a population’s history, culture, religion, language, education, and resettlement needs. Information provided by CORE.

Refugees from Burma in the United States (Burmese)

This video features interviews with refugees from Burma, talking about their challenges and accomplishments dealing with learning English, employment, housing and community, rights and responsibilities, and the long process of resettlement.

Refugees from Burma in the United States (Karen)

This video features interviews with refugees from Burma, talking about their challenges and accomplishments dealing with learning English, employment, housing and community, rights and responsibilities, and the long process of resettlement.

Rohingya Refugee Finds His Identity Helping Others Resettle

The crackdown by military forces on the ethnic Muslim Rohingya population in Myanmar has forced hundreds of thousands from their homes and across international borders to seek refuge. Those fleeing from Myanmar, including Rohingya, now account for the largest number of refugees resettling in the United States. Their unique dialect has made resettlement and integration challenging and has fueled demand for those who can help guide them through their new life in America.

The World Factbook – Burma

Learn about Burma’s background, geography, people and society, government, economy, energy, communications, military and security, transportation, and transnational issues.

 

Burundi

Languages: Kirundi only 29.7% (official); French only .3% (official); Swahili only .2%; English only .1% (official); Kirundi and French 8.4%; Kirundi, French, and English 2.4%, other language combinations 2%, unspecified 56.9% (2008 est. CIA World Factbook)

Religions: Roman Catholic 62.1%, Protestant 23.9% (includes Adventist 2.3% and other Protestant 21.6%), Muslim 2.5%, other 3.6%, unspecified 7.9% (2008 est. CIA World Factbook)

Burundi Community Profile

This is a guide provided by the Office of Refugee Heath Coordinator of Arizona and is meant to provide a general cultural orientation and does not describe every person from this community.

USCRI Supporting the Successful Integration of Burundian Refugees

Educational resource about Burundian refugees to better help their integration.

The World Factbook – Burundi

Learn about Burundi’s background, geography, people and society, government, economy, energy, communications, military and security, transportation, and transnational issues.

 

Central African Republic

Languages: French (official), Sangho (lingua franca and national language), tribal languages (CIA World Factbook)

Religions: Christian 89.5%, Muslim 8.5%, folk 1%, unaffiliated 1% (2010 est. CIA World Factbook)

Refugees from Central Africa Republic in Cameroon

With the on-going violence in CAR, thousands of people have been forced to flee their country and seek refugee in the neighboring countries like in Cameroon. Since beginning of January more than 8000 people have crossed the border.

Refugees from the Central African Republic in Congo

Fighting and a coup since late last year in Central African Republic have forced more than 30,000 people to seek refuge in DR Congo. UNHCR chief António Guterres visited some of them.

The World Factbook – Central African Republic

Learn about CAR’s background, geography, people and society, government, economy, energy, communications, military and security, terrorism, transportation, and transnational issues.

 

Colombia

Languages: Spanish (official)

Religions: Roman Catholic 79%, Protestant 14% (includes Pentecostal 6%, mainline Protestant 2%, other 6%), other 2%, unspecified 5% (2014 est. CIA World Factbook)

The World Factbook – Columbia

Learn about Columbia’s background, geography, people and society, government, economy, energy, communications, military and security, terrorism, transportation, and transnational issues.

 

Cuba

Languages: Spanish (official)

Religions: Christian 59.2%, folk 17.4%, other .4%, none 23% (2010 est. CIA World Factbook)

Cuban Refugees in the United States

This video provides information for and about refugees from Cuba resettled in the United States. The video is comprised of interviews with resettled refugees and their service providers, using their own words to share their thoughts and experiences.

My Life As A Cuban Refugee | Juan Carlos Jimenez | TEDxHiltonHead

A native of Cuba, Juan Carlos arrived in the U.S. at the age of 7, as part of Operation Pedro Pan. Living in Cuba during the Revolution and viewing through a child’s eyes his Family’s efforts to escape the fighting and hardships, Juan Carlos found opportunity in his new home. Living on a diet of Spam in those early years, Juan Carlos found the gift of education, and went on to become a Marine Biologist, taking him to various parts of the world where he specialized in research and rescue of the whale and manatee population. Math also beckoned Juan Carlos, and he spent 36 years as a University Math professor, and in 1997 started a Cigar factory in the D.R. that continues to thrive today. With a mutual passion for cigars and small vineyard wines, in 2012 he opened tacaron.com – a destination boutique wine and cigar shop located on Okatie Hwy 170 in Beaufort, SC. Juan Carlos Jimenez– Owner, Ta-ca-ron; Professor; Mathematician; Marine Biologist; Cuban émigré; Cigar Factory operator; wine aficionado This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

The World Factbook – Cuba

Learn about Cuba’s background, geography, people and society, government, economy, energy, communications, military and security, terrorism, transportation, and transnational issues.

 

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Languages: French (official), Lingala (a lingua franca trade language), Kingwana (a dialect of Kiswahili or Swahili), Kikongo, Tshiluba

Religions: Roman Catholic 29.9%, Protestant 26.7%, Kimbanguist 2.8%, other Christian 36.5%, Muslim 1.3%, other (includes syncretic sects and indigenous beliefs) 1.2%, none 1.3%, unspecified .2% (2014 est. CIA World Factbook)

Congolese Community Profile

This is a guide provided by the Office of Refugee Heath Coordinator of Arizona and is meant to provide a general cultural orientation and does not describe every person from this community.

Congolese Refugee Health Profile

This refugee health profile provides key health and cultural information about specific refugee groups resettling in the United States. Information is gathered from the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the U.S. Department of State, scientific research, and many other sources.

Refugee crisis as thousands flee violence in Democratic Republic of the Congo

Aid agencies say they are facing a “humanitarian crisis” as thousands flee an explosion of violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Video provided by ITV News.

Refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Refugee Backgrounders provide U.S. resettlement communities with basic information to better understand and serve their new clients. Backgrounders include information about a population’s history, culture, religion, language, education, and resettlement needs. Information provided by CORE.

10thirtysix | January 2019: Congolese Refugees

Two stories on Congolese Refugees we first aired in 2018. With a new year comes some new developments on these stories. Hear about a young man who talks about living amidst war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and then growing up in a refugee camp with some unthinkable conditions. He’s now a U.S. citizen and trying to give back by giving orphaned children and abused women in that refugee camp, a Hope for Tomorrow. Plus, hear from some other Congolese refugees now working at a Milwaukee bakery and finding their Hope for Tomorrow in our city.

The World Factbook – Democratic Republic of the Congo

Learn about the DRC’s background, geography, people and society, government, economy, energy, communications, military and security, transportation, and transnational issues.

 

Eritrea

Languages: Tigrinya (official), Arabic (official), English (official), Tigre, Kunama, Afar, other Cushitic languages

Religions: Sunni Muslim, Coptic Christian, Roman Catholic, Protestant

Eritrean Community Profile

This is a guide provided by the Office of Refugee Heath Coordinator of Arizona and is meant to provide a general cultural orientation and does not describe every person from this community.

Eritrean refugees find new paths to the United States

The secluded East African nation of Eritrea has been described by Human Rights Watch as “a giant prison,” and by others as “the Cuba of Africa” for its repressive regime. In the last decade, thousands have fled the country seeking asylum in Europe, while others have opted for a lengthy, costly and dangerous transatlantic odyssey through South and Central America to reach the United States.

The plight of Eritrean Refugees

The Fifth Estate’s Mark Kelley investigates Eritrea’s refugee problem.

The World Factbook – Eritrea

Learn about Eritrea’s background, geography, people and society, government, economy, energy, communications, military and security, transportation, and transnational issues.

 

Guatemala

Languages: Spanish (official) 69.9%, Maya languages 29.7% (Q’eqchi’ 8.3%, K’iche 7.8%, Mam 4.4%, Kaqchikel 3%, Q’anjob’al 1.2%, Poqomchi’ 1%, other 4%), other 0.4% (includes Xinca and Garifuna) (2018 est. CIA World Factbook)

Religions: Roman Catholic, Protestant, indigenous Maya

Central American Health Profile

This refugee health profile provides key health and cultural information about specific refugee groups resettling in the United States. Information is gathered from the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the U.S. Department of State, scientific research, and many other sources.

The World Factbook – Guatemala

Learn about Guatemala’s background, geography, people and society, government, economy, energy, communications, military and security, terrorism, transportation, and transnational issues.

 

Honduras

Languages: Spanish (official), Amerindian dialects

Religions: Roman Catholic 46%, Protestant 41%, atheist 1%, other 2%, none 9% (2014 est. CIA World Factbook)

Central American Health Profile

This refugee health profile provides key health and cultural information about specific refugee groups resettling in the United States. Information is gathered from the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the U.S. Department of State, scientific research, and many other sources.

The World Factbook – Honduras

Learn about Honduras’ background, geography, people and society, government, economy, energy, communications, military and security, terrorism, transportation, and transnational issues.

 

Iran

Languages: Persian Farsi (official), Azeri and other Turkic dialects, Kurdish, Gilaki and Mazandarani, Luri, Balochi, Arabic

Religions: Muslim (official) 99.4% (Shia 90-95%, Sunni 5-10%), other (includes Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian) 0.3%, unspecified 0.4% (2011 est. CIA World Factbook)

The World Factbook – Iran

Learn about Iran’s background, geography, people and society, government, economy, energy, communications, military and security, terrorism, transportation, and transnational issues.

 

Iraq

Languages: Arabic (official), Kurdish (official), Turkmen (a Turkish dialect), Syriac (Neo-Aramaic), and Armenian are official in areas where native speakers of these languages constitute a majority of the population

Religions: Muslim (official) 95-98% (Shia 64-69%, Sunni 29-34%), Christian 1% (includes Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, Assyrian Church of the East), other 1-4% (2015 est. CIA World Factbook)

Iraqi Community Profile

This is a guide provided by the Office of Refugee Heath Coordinator of Arizona and is meant to provide a general cultural orientation and does not describe every person from this community.

Iraqi Refugee Health Profile

This refugee health profile provides key health and cultural information about specific refugee groups resettling in the United States. Information is gathered from the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the U.S. Department of State, scientific research, and many other sources.

Refugees from Iraq

Refugee Backgrounders provide U.S. resettlement communities with basic information to better understand and serve their new clients. Backgrounders include information about a population’s history, culture, religion, language, education, and resettlement needs. Information provided by CORE.

The World Factbook Iraq

Learn about Iraq’s background, geography, people and society, government, economy, energy, communications, military and security, terrorism, transportation, and transnational issues.

 

Kenya

Languages: English (official), Kiswahili (official), numerous indigenous languages

Religions: Christian 83% (Protestant 47.7%, Catholic 23.4%, other Christian 11.9%), Muslim 11.2%, Traditionalists 1.7%, other 1.6%, none 2.4%, unspecified 0.2% (2009 est. CIA World Factbook)

The World Factbook – Kenya

Learn about Kenya’s background, geography, people and society, government, economy, energy, communications, military and security, transportation, and transnational issues.

 

Liberia

Languages: English 20% (official), some 20 ethnic group languages few of which can be written or used in correspondence

Religions: Christian 85.6%, Muslim 12.2%, Traditional 0.6%, other 0.2%, none 1.5% (2008 est. CIA World Factbook)

Liberians – An Introduction to their History and Culture

Background information on prevalent refugee groups residing in the area. These cultural profiles include information about a population’s history, culture, language, religion, education, and resettlement needs.

The World Factbook – Liberia

Learn about Liberia’s background, geography, people and society, government, economy, energy, communications, military and security, transportation, and transnational issues.

 

Libya

Languages: Arabic (official), Italian, English (all widely understood in the major cities); Berber (Nafusi, Ghadamis, Suknah, Awjilah, Tamasheq)

Religions: Muslim (official; virtually all Sunni) 96.6%, Christian 2.7%, Buddhist 0.3%, Hindu <0.1, Jewish <0.1, folk religion <0.1, unafilliated 0.2%, other <0.1 (2010 est. CIA World Factbook)

The World Factbook – Libya

Learn about Libya’s background, geography, people and society, government, economy, energy, communications, military and security, terrorism, transportation, and transnational issues.

 

Pakistan

Languages: Punjabi 48%, Sindhi 12%, Saraiki (a Punjabi variant) 10%, Pashto (alternate name, Pashtu) 8%, Urdu (official) 8%, Balochi 3%, Hindko 2%, Brahui 1%, English (official; lingua franca of Pakistani elite and most government ministries), Burushaski, and other 8%

Religions: Muslim (official) 96.4% (Sunni 85-90%, Shia 10-15%), other (includes Christian and Hindu) 3.6% (2010 est. CIA World Factbook)

The World Factbook – Pakistan

Learn about Pakistan’s background, geography, people and society, government, economy, energy, communications, military and security, terrorism, transportation, and transnational issues.

 

Rwanda

Languages: Kinyarwanda (official, universal Bantu vernacular) 93.2%, French (official) <.1, English (official) <.1, Swahili/Kiswahili (official, used in commercial centers) <.1, more than one language, other 6.3%, unspecified 0.3% (2002 est. CIA World Factbook)

Religions: Protestant 49.5% (includes Adventist 11.8% and other Protestant 37.7%), Roman Catholic 43.7%, Muslim 2%, other 0.9% (includes Jehovah’s Witness), none 2.5%, unspecified 1.3% (2012 est. CIA World Factbook)

The World Factbook – Rwanda

Learn about Rwanda’s background, geography, people and society, government, economy, energy, communications, military and security, terrorism, transportation, and transnational issues.

 

Somalia

Languages: Somali (official, according to the 2012 Transitional Federal Charter), Arabic (official, according to the 2012 Transitional Federal Charter), Italian, English

Religions: Sunni Muslim (Islam) (official, according to the 2012 Transitional Federal Charter)

Somali Community Profile

This is a guide provided by the Office of Refugee Heath Coordinator of Arizona and is meant to provide a general cultural orientation and does not describe every person from this community.

Somali Bantu Community Profile

This is a guide provided by the Office of Refugee Heath Coordinator of Arizona and is meant to provide a general cultural orientation and does not describe every person from this community.

Somali Refugee Health Profile

This refugee health profile provides key health and cultural information about specific refugee groups resettling in the United States. Information is gathered from the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the U.S. Department of State, scientific research, and many other sources.

The Somali Bantu – Their History and Culture

Background information on prevalent refugee groups residing in the area. These cultural profiles include information about a population’s history, culture, language, religion, education, and resettlement needs.

The World Factbook – Somalia

Learn about Somalia’s background, geography, people and society, government, economy, energy, communications, military and security, terrorism, transportation, and transnational issues.

 

South Sudan

Languages: English (official), Arabic (includes Juba and Sudanese variants), regional languages include Dinka, Nuer, Bari, Zande, Shilluk

Religions: Animist, Christian, Muslim

The World Factbook – South Sudan

Learn about South Sudan’s background, geography, people and society, government, economy, energy, communications, military and security, terrorism, transportation, and transnational issues.

 

Sudan

Languages: Arabic (official), English (official), Nubian, Ta Bedawie, Fur

Religions: Sunni Muslim, small Christian minority

Sudanese Community Profile

This is a guide provided by the Office of Refugee Heath Coordinator of Arizona and is meant to provide a general cultural orientation and does not describe every person from this community.

Dafuri Refugees in the Unites States

Refugees from the Darfuri region of Sudan address topics such as the need to work and entry-level positions available, education for children, learning English as an adult, time management and daily schedules.

The World Factbook – Sudan

Learn about Sudan’s background, geography, people and society, government, economy, energy, communications, military and security, terrorism, transportation, and transnational issues.

Syria

Languages: Arabic (official), Kurdish, Armenian, Aramaic, Circassian, French, English

Religions: Muslim 87% (official; includes Sunni 74% and Alawi, Ismaili, and Shia 13%), Christian 10% (includes Orthodox, Uniate, and Nestorian), Druze 3%, Jewish (few remaining in Damascus and Aleppo)

Syrian Refugee Health Profile

This refugee health profile provides key health and cultural information about specific refugee groups resettling in the United States. Information is gathered from the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the U.S. Department of State, scientific research, and many other sources.

Refugees from Syria

Refugee Backgrounders provide U.S. resettlement communities with basic information to better understand and serve their new clients. Backgrounders include information about a population’s history, culture, religion, language, education, and resettlement needs. Information provided by CORE.

How Rasmi Moussa, A Teenage Syrian Refugee, Resettled In America After Escaping The War | TODAY

Rasmi Moussa was resettled in the United States in 2016 after escaping the war in Syria with his family, and arrived without knowing a word of English. The Syrian refugee taught himself how to read, write and speak English and soon graduated from his New Haven, Connecticut high school with honors.

The World Factbook – Syria

Learn about Syria’s background, geography, people and society, government, economy, energy, communications, military and security, terrorism, transportation, and transnational issues.

 

Uganda

Languages: English (official language, taught in schools, used in courts of law and by most newspapers and some radio broadcasts), Ganda or Luganda (most widely used of the Niger-Congo languages and the language used most often in the capital), other Niger-Congo languages, Nilo-Saharan languages, Swahili (official), Arabic

Religions: Protestant 45.1% (Anglican 32.0%, Pentecostal/Born Again/Evangelical 11.1%, Seventh Day Adventist 1.7%, Baptist .3%), Roman Catholic 39.3%, Muslim 13.7%, other 1.6%, none 0.2% (2014 est. CIA World Factbook)

The World Factbook – Uganda

Learn about Uganda’s background, geography, people and society, government, economy, energy, communications, military and security, terrorism, transportation, and transnational issues.

 

Venezuela

Languages: Spanish (official), numerous indigenous dialects

Religions: nominally Roman Catholic 96%, Protestant 2%, other 2%

The World Factbook – Venezuela

Learn about Venezuela’s background, geography, people and society, government, economy, energy, communications, military and security, terrorism, transportation, and transnational issues.

 

Vietnam

Languages: Vietnamese (official), English (increasingly favored as a second language), some French, Chinese, and Khmer, mountain area languages (Mon-Khmer and Malayo-Polynesian)

Religions: Buddhist 7.9%, Catholic 6.6%, Hoa Hao 1.7%, Cao Dai 0.9%, Protestant 0.9%, Muslim 0.1%, none 81.8% (2009 est. CIA World Factbook)

The World Factbook – Vietnam

Learn about Vietnam’s background, geography, people and society, government, economy, energy, communications, military and security, terrorism, transportation, and transnational issues.