Friday, June 20, 2014

The numbers don't lie, but neither do they tell the whole story

The total population of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida added together is a little over 50 million. That's also the number of displaced persons that were in our world in 2013 according to a U.N. report released today. That's the highest number of dislocated people since World War II. Half of these refugees are children.

The figure doesn't include those who escaped the recent violence in Iraq. I read that 500,000 fled the city of Mosul alone when jihadists overran that Iraqi city last week.   

The numbers are staggering, but they do not come close to telling the true tale of woe of millions who have been forced to go on the run to find a safe place. They don't tell us about the squalid conditions in which many of them live. They don't tell us about the children begging and searching trash cans for scraps of food. They don't tell us about the human trafficking taking place in some refugee camps. They don't tell us of the children who have been stricken with diseases because their parents can't obtain basic immunizations for them. They don't tell us of trying to survive bitter cold and searing heat behind a piece of canvas or plastic. 

Fifty million displaced people is a terrible number but the reality of the daily lives of many of these millions is much, much worse.  

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