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UN warns of Iraqi refugee crisis (40,000 Iraqis displaced monthly) [View All]

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-18-07 10:25 AM
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UN warns of Iraqi refugee crisis (40,000 Iraqis displaced monthly)
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UN warns of Iraqi refugee crisis

By Frances Williams in Geneva

Published: April 17 2007 18:57 | Last updated: April 17 2007 18:57

Human rights groups on Tuesday warned that escape routes for Iraqs refugees were closing, both inside the country and at its borders.

The warning came as an international conference opened in Geneva to mobilise support for 4m Iraqis forced from their homes most of them since the 2003 US-led invasion.

The United Nations refugee agency, which organised the conference, said the continuing flood of displaced people, estimated at 40,000-50,000 a month, was putting an intolerable strain on host communities both in Iraq and in neighbouring countries.

Antnio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, called on the international community to share the burden of helping an estimated 1.9m people now internally displaced and 2m who have fled to neighbouring countries, primarily Syria (host to 1.2m Iraqis) and Jordan (host to 750,000).

In the most significant displacement in the Middle East since the dramatic events of 1948 , one in eight Iraqis have been driven from their homes, Mr Guterres said. Host communities are straining under this extraordinary burden, while the suffering of the displaced grows by the day.

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