The article mentions the Bush administration being ‘reluctant to recognize’ the problem. We would suggest the Bush administration has cynically ignored the crisis.
Iraq refugee crisis exploding: 40% of middle class believed to have fled crumbling nation
Carolyn Lochhead, Chronicle Washington Bureau
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
(01-16) 04:00 PST Washington — Iraq is in the throes of the largest refugee crisis in the Middle East since the Palestinian exodus from Israel in 1948, a mass flight out of and within the country that is ravaging basic services and commerce, swamping neighboring nations with nearly 2 million refugees and building intense pressure for emigration to Europe and the United States, according to the United Nations and refugee experts.
The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, which appealed for $60 million in emergency aid last week, believes 1.7 million Iraqis are displaced inside Iraq, whose prewar population was 21 million. About 50,000 Iraqis are fleeing inside Iraq each month, the United Nations said, and 500,000 have been displaced since last February’s bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra. These figures are as of January 2007.
The Bush administration and the governments of Jordan and Syria, the nations that accept the bulk of the refugees, have been reluctant to acknowledge the humanitarian crisis, experts said.
“I think everyone at this point is in denial about the human consequences of the war,” said Kathleen Newland, director of the Migration Policy Institute, who is familiar with the State Department’s views.
Read the rest here.