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Widely Ignored by Press: A 'Surge' in Iraqi Displaced Citizens

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Widely Ignored by Press: A 'Surge' in Iraqi Displaced Citizens

Article excerpt

The plight -- and massive number -- of refugees and displaced citizens in Iraq has been one of the great under-reported aspects of the war. Perhaps that will change in the wake of a report by the Iraqi Red Crescent today.

The leading humanitarian group in Iraq says the number of internally displaced people (IDP's) in Iraq has quadrupled since January and is up eight times from a year ago.

It had found in May 2006 that there were 125,169. For May 2007 it counts 1,024,430, with 37% of them children. Health care is limited.

"Rape, armed gangs, theft, drug addiction was a common place among IDP, " the report states. "The overall picture is that of a human tragedy unprecedented in Iraq's history."

A summary on the IraqSlogger.com site observes, "Many IDP's take refuge in the house of extended family or a friend, while others squat illegally in abandoned houses. Many live on the streets or in makeshift mud huts and tin shacks, and tens of thousands of others live in tent cities." The report reveals that the province with the greatest number of IDP's is Ninevah (Mosul area), with 239,547, followed by Baghdad, with 196,227.

In addition, more than two million Iraqis are estimated to have fled Iraq for Syria, Jordan and other countries.

More from the report:

"Displacement resulted in major changes in the population demography. The education sector was negatively affected by the flow of the displaced people into the different governorates. …

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