The eight most violent wars the United States has launched or participated in have created at least 37 million refugees since 2001, according to a new report by Brown University's Costs of War project.

The report, which was published on Tuesday, has the title 'Creating Refugees: Displacement Caused by the United States' Post-9/11 Wars'.

The number, "a very conservative estimate," surpasses those displaced by any war or disaster since the 20th century, except World War II, and the number of displaced people is almost as large as the population of Canada, said the report.

The estimate includes eight million people displaced across international borders as refugees and asylum seekers, and 29 million people displaced internally.

Most of the refugees were displaced in and from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the Philippines, Libya and Syria.

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Meanwhile, Greece has begun setting up tents for thousands of migrants left without shelter on the island of Lesbos after a fire destroyed Greece's biggest refugee camp three days ago.

With more than 12,000 former occupants of the notoriously overcrowded Moria camp now camping out in fields and along roadsides without food or water and threatened by a possible spread of coronavirus infections, the need for a solution has become increasingly urgent.

But the Greek government has been forced to tread warily due to growing anger among residents of an island whose location a few miles off the Turkish coast has kept them on the frontline of Europe's migrant crisis for years.

Hoping to avoid a repeat of protests seen earlier this year, island authorities have not said where the shelters are being set up but helicopters with tents and other materials could be seen landing a few miles from the main port of Mytilene.

Greek officials say they believe the fire in the Moria camp was deliberately lit by migrants reacting to quarantine measures after Covid-19 was detected in the camp last week.

But the emergency has once again highlighted Europe's patchy response to a multi-year crisis that has seen more than a million migrants reach its shores, often on board flimsy vessels and fleeing wars and poverty in the Middle East and beyond.

"The clock has run out on how long Europe can be without a migration policy. Now is the time to change this," Margaritis Schinas, the European commissioner responsible for migration and asylum policy, said at a press conference in Brussels.

Mediterranean countries such as Greece and Italy where most migrant boats arrive, have long demanded that other EU state stake in more asylum seekers but Hungary and Poland, among others, have refused to share the burden.