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After ISIS Refugee Crises Endure

Amid the dwindling force of ISIS exists a temptation to assume that the crises afflicting multitudes of refugees and internally displaced people in the Middle East has simply abated. Not true. This week I write from Iraqi Kurdistan, east of Syria and south of Turkey, where I’m hosted by Lawand Talal, national protection officer for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).


Lawand Talal, a United States-educated attorney and citizen of Iraq, explains some of the challenges: “Children separated by the conflict have parents who still cannot be located, and parents who fled have lost children who still cannot be found. Some families who would like to return to their homes, but their houses continue decimated and the risk of neighborhood crime remains high. And, minority people in these unsettled times are even more vulnerable to unbridled prejudice and violence.”


Post ISIS, the role of UNHCR continues to be critical: leading and coordinating international action for the worldwide protection of refugees, safeguarding the rights and well-being of these people who have very often lost every worldly possession and social advantage. What can you do? Begin by informing yourself. Visit UNHCR What We Do. Next, contact an agency in your city that provides support for refugees in your own community. Consider a Donation to UNHCR or other similar service organization. And please, share an encouraging word with all those providing relief to today’s abundance of refugees and internally displaced people.

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