For much of the last decade, the number of refugees and displaced around the world has been steadily decreasing. But last year, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees assisted the highest-ever number of refugees and displaced in the organization’s history. Today, there is a total of 11.4 million refugees outside their countries, as well as 26 million others displaced internally by conflict or persecution at the end of 2007.

The reason for the sudden increase is the conflict in Iraq. So, in honor of World Refugee Day, Ken Bacon of Refugees international writes us a guest delegates lounge post in which he explains why it is imperative that the United States take on with urgency the Iraq refugee crisis.

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