UN says 13.6 million displaced by wars in Iraq and Syria

Published November 11th, 2014 - 09:50 GMT
Al Bawaba
Al Bawaba

The United Nations refugee agency says the conflicts in Syria and Iraq have roughly displaced 13.6 million people, bemoaning poor humanitarian assistance on the part of some countries.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) released the figure on Tuesday, saying many of those rendered homeless stay without food or shelter as winter starts.

The figure includes 7.2 million displaced within Syria, 3.3 million Syrian refugees abroad, 1.9 million displaced in Iraq, and 190,000, who have left to seek safety.

Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Turkey have taken in the vast majority of Syrian refugees.

"Other countries in the world, especially the Europeans and beyond, should open their borders and share the burden," said Amin Awad, the UNHCR's director for the Middle East and North Africa.

He said Russia and China were at the bottom of a list of top donors and should contribute more.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein has said that more than 200,000 people have died in the Syrian conflict since March 2011.

The two Arab countries have also had large swathes of their territories seized by ISIL Takfiri militants, who have terrorized and killed people of all communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, and Christians.

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