Iraq, Central Africa Add To Growing Global Refugee Crisis

The United Nations is becoming increasingly concerned that more Iraqi cities will soon fall to ISIS, which could displace as many as 1 million Iraqis.

“In the worst case scenario, up to one million Iraqis may be displaced in the context of the counter-offensive, leading all the way up to Mosul. Mosul itself currently has a civilian population of more than 1.5 million inhabitants, so that of course would be another scenario, should the confrontation reach Mosul itself,” Dominik Bartsch, Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for the UN in Iraq, told the German newspaper Deutsche Welle.

Another area of the world which is of increasing concern to the U.N. is Central Africa, which also faces a growing refugee crisis.

With a decline in oil prices exacerbating economic weakness, rising youth unemployment, terrorist activities, and spillover from conflicts in Burundi and the Central African Republic, the region is are facing a multidimensional crisis,  the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for the sub-region warned the Security Council on Thursday.

“The crisis in the CAR continued to have regional and multidimensional consequences with almost half a million refugees; ongoing gross violations of human rights; growing gang-related criminality; and environmental degradation in refugee areas,” Abdoulaye Bathily said.

Furthermore, an uptick in attacks by Boko Haram is helping to create a dire humanitarian crisis.

Along with the displacement of an estimated 74,000 Nigerians into neighbouring Cameroon, there are 96,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) within Cameroon, and in Chad almost 20,000 Nigerian refugees, 8,500 returnees and 14,500 IDPs, according to the U.N.

The rising number of refugees and IDPs in the Middle East and Africa will only exacerbate add to the approximately 11 million people who were displaced by violence in 2014.

The New York Times recently looked at the international response to the worst migration crisis since World War II.

Related: Christian Science Monitor examines whether an authorization of force is an appropriate response to the migrant crisis currently plaguing Europe.

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