Displacement and Iraq

To get a sense of the extent and magnitude of the displacement crisis unfolding and reproducing in Iraq, take a look at this briefing from MPI. In addition to providing a statistical breakdown by region and religion of the estimated more than 4.5 million people displaced from Iraq, the report also suggests that a number of factors are exacerbating the situation and making its resolution more difficult and less likely.

Firstly, as a consequence of some weaknesses in the nascent central administration and remaining security concerns in some regions, controls on population movements within and between Iraqi Governorates have increased. This means that those displaced have little recourse to a safe route out of or reasonable protection within Iraq. The humanitarian situation is made worse by the urban nature of much of this displacement. As the report reminds us, while refugee camps can generate their own problems, they do present aid workers with a discrete focus for support.

The report also criticises the international response. Less than 5,000 refugees had been relocated to third countries as part of formal resettlement schemes by December 2007. We have posted on ICAR blogs previously about the campaign to resettle Iraqi interpreters and how, if successful, this would just be the tip of the iceberg. These figures bear this out with stark clarity.


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