More than 30 million refugees fleeing war, famine or persecution have received aid from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) since 1951 in a continuing effort coordinated by the United Nations that often involves other agencies. In recent years, the number of people needing assistance from UNHCR has risen greatly, as a result of a focus by warring factions in many parts of the World on civilian targets as part of their military strategy. In 1983, 11 million refugees were recognized by UNHCR, whilst the number had risen to 19 million ten years later. A further 24 million people or more were displaced within their country of origin during 1993, and UNHCR activities have increasingly focused on this group of people. In 1994 there are more than 19 million refugees, primarily women and children, who are receiving good, shelter, medical aid, education and repatriation assistance.
As of January 1993, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies supported the National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in the former Yugoslavia to assist 523,000 refugees and displaced in Croatia; 35,000 in Slovenia; 10,000 in Macedonia (FYROM); and 510,000 in Yugoslavia (Serbia/Montenegro). As of the same period, the Federation supported the National Societies of CÃ´te d'Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone to distribute shelter, food, and other relief to roughly one million conflict victims.