Wednesday, May 23, 2007
(Refugees International) - A report released recently by Refugees International calls the flight of Iraqis from war-torn areas for regions of greater security within Iraq "the world's fastest growing displacement crisis." The report details the humanitarian disaster faced by internally displaced people (IDPs) in Northern Iraq, and criticizes the U.N. and U.S. and Iraqi governments for failing to respond adequately and for losing the trust of the Iraqi people.
The report says approximately 12 percent of Iraq's population is expected to be internally displaced by the end of this calendar year. Even those who have landed in the most secure regions, such as the Kurdish region in Northern Iraq, are now facing intense food shortages as well as a lack of jobs, affordable housing and school access. As a result, many are forced to return to the areas from which they came, despite the security threat. The report, which focuses on the three most stable states in the Kurdish region of Northern Iraq includes U.N.H.C.R. estimates that 727,000 Iraqis have been displaced since the 2006 bombing of Samarra. In total, 1.9 million Iraqis have been uprooted-including 1 million before 2003-but remain within the country; more than two million Iraqis have fled the country altogether. The report outlines eight steps that international agencies could take to address humanitarian problems on the ground.