Monday, October 08, 2007


128,000 Iraqi refugees register with UNHCR in Syria

(DPA) -- More than 128,000 Iraqi refugees were registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) by the start of the UN refugee agency's mobile registration programme in the northeast of the country on Monday.
The UNHCR said in a statement that the registration team started the programme in Al Hassakeh Governorate where it estimates that over 6,000 Iraqi refugees will be registered during a two month period. The agency said so far its office in Damascus has recorded more than 128,000 Iraqis, of whom 87,432 were registered in 2007.
The registration highlighted the 'vulnerability of many of these refugees with one in five registered this year having a serious medical condition, and one in five being classified as survivors of violence or torture in Iraq,' UNHCR statement said.
'It is a priority for UNHCR to reach vulnerable Iraqi refugees throughout the country. This mobile registration will help us to identify the refugees that need our help the most. In parallel we plan to expand our assistance rapidly throughout the country,' UNHCR Syria Representative Laurens Jolles said. The Syrian government estimates there are around 1.6 million Iraqi refugees in Syria, most of them living in Damascus and its surrounds.

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