WASHINGTON — The United Nations announced about 13.6 million people have been displaced by the Iraq and Syria conflicts. The displacement occurred as a result of the Syrian civil war, as well as the rise of the terrorist group Islamic State (known by the acronym ISIS or IS).
Reuters reported the statistic is equivalent to the population of London, U.K. Many do not have food or shelter as winter approaches this year, said the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The UNHCR’s director, Amin Awad, said, “The world is just not responding” to the rise in conflicts and refugee displacement. He estimated about 500,000 people had been displaced in a short period of two months.
Out of the 13.6 million displaced, 7.2 million have been displaced within Syria. Due to ISIS’s extending influence, about 1.9 million have been displaced and 190,000 have left the country altogether. The U.N. has struggled to find ways to alleviate the refugee crisis, which has been ongoing since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.
Awad told Europe to “open their borders and share the burden” of refugees, something that would not fly in European political circles.