UNITED NATIONS, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- The number of internally displaced persons in the world topped 22 million and refugee numbers passed 11 million, mostly in Iraq and Somalia, the U.N. said.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, addressed the U.N. Security Council on the plight of persons displaced because of conflict.
Guterres said the international community is challenged in its efforts to respond adequately to humanitarian crises by a lack of security for assistance missions and the ability to establish safe havens for refugees in conflict zones.
The UNHCR said it coordinated with the government of Iraq to help reintegrate refugees and the internally displaced. Wealthy nations also should support the effort by contributing to relief work in host nations like Jordan and Syria, Guterres said.
Iraq needs to exhibit a greater effort toward establishing welfare and other social services to relieve the refugee crisis in the country.
The Security Council emphasized that the work of the UNHCR was integral toward achieving international peace and security and called on Guterres to provide more frequent and country-specific briefings.