Monday, April 02, 2007

Iraq Refugees

One out of eight Iraqis is a refugee. This represents the largest population of displaced persons in the Middle East in half a century.

The UNHCR today estimates that there are 1.9 million Iraqis who have been forcibly displaced inside Iraq. The number of exiles is estimated at 2 million people, a massive exodus which can be added to the many departures confirmed during the decade of international embargo that followed the First Gulf War in 1991. The majority of these Iraqis are settled in Arab countries: Syria (more than a million), Jordan (750,000) and Egypt (more than 150,000) and at least 40,000 in Lebanon.High Commissioner Antonio Guterres believes that the phenomenon constitutes the largest population displacement in the Near and Middle East since that of Palestinian refugees in 1948. It touches one Iraqi out of eight.
Excerpted from Le Monde, translated by Nur, who has more details at the link.

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