Recently, the United Nations described Iraq’s humanitarian crisis as “one of the world’s worst”, saying that more than 10 million Iraqis, making up almost a third of the population, are in need of immediate humanitarian aid. This number has doubled from last year.
In a statement to the Security Council, UN Envoy to Iraq, Jan Kubis, warned of the potential mass displacement of an additional two million Iraqis in the coming months. He also called on the international community to provide aid to those in Fallujah, whose conditions were described as alarming.
The war against ISIL has created more than 3.4 million internally displaced people (IDPs), many living in camps without access to medical care, water and clothes, according to one UN official.
According to the UN, approximately 2.6 million Iraqis have fled the country since the beginning of the crisis in January 2014 when ISIL overran large swaths of the country. Additionally, more than one million Iraqis fled between 2006 and 2008 due to the sectarian war in Iraq, following the US-led invasion and occupation in 2003.
Iraqi government forces, backed by US-led coalition airstrikes and advisers, have managed to regain some of the territory seized by ISIL. However, the group still controls vast areas of northern and western Iraq.