As Dancewater, over at Today in Iraq reminds us, “That would be 8 to 10% of the entire population of the country. Imagine 15 million Americans moving to Canada or Mexico, and another 12 million internally displaced. That is vastly more than from Katrina.“
U.N.: Nearly 100,000 Iraqi refugees flee monthly to Syria, Jordan
The Associated Press
Published: November 3, 2006
GENEVA: Nearly 100,000 Iraqis each month are fleeing to Syria and Jordan, forcing the United Nations to drop its goal of helping refugees return home after the U.S.-led invasion, officials said Friday.
Instead, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees has had to hastily draw up plans to deal with a silent exodus of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who are desperate to escape the violence, chief spokesman Ron Redmond said.
“Much of our work in the three years since the fall of the previous regime was based on the assumption that the domestic situation would stabilize and hundreds of thousands of previously displaced Iraqis would be able to go home,” Redmond said. “Now, however, we’re seeing more and more displacement linked to the continuing violence.”
It has been impossible to obtain accurate totals on the numbers of refugees because few Iraqis are registering with UNHCR, and most are being cared for by host families or charitable organizations, he said.
The U.N. agency has been counting those entering Syria in recent months, however, and has found an average of 2,000 a day leaving Iraq by that route.
“This is not a situation where everyone has left en masse at once, nor are they going to refugee camps,” Redmond said. “This has been largely a silent or invisible exodus.”
The Jordanian government says another 1,000 a day are entering Jordan, he said.
Read it here.