ABOUT IRAQI REFUGEE STORIES
Jennifer Utz (www.jennyjo.com) is a videojournalist who has been covering the Iraqi refugee crisis since the fall of 2006. She was one of the first US-based journalists to highlight the extent of the crisis. Her first report aired on Democracy Now in February 2007. Subsequent reports aired on ABC World News Tonight, France 24, and Current TV.
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FEATURE
(Art)

Sarah Glidden's 'The Waiting Room' Documents Iraqi Refugees in Syria
"Creator of the excellent Vertigo graphic novel How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less, Sarah Glidden is back with a new webcomic depicting the struggle of Iraqi refugees in Syria. Called The Waiting Room, the 20-page story continues the calm and considered documentarian style she employed in How to Understand Israel... and presents an incredibly depressing but touching portrait of what life has been like for Iraqis who've been living in Syria since the American invasion of 2003..."
> Read More at Comics Alliance

RECOMMENDED READING : STATUS REPORTS
(Updated November 2009)

Iraq: Country Operations Profile
The situation of Iraqi refugees throughout the region continues to deteriorate, as most of them do not have the right to work and cannot access the limited informal job market. Their needs are increasing as their savings have been depleted by prolonged displacement and hikes in the prices of basic commodities in the host countries
> Read the report at UNHCR.org

UNHCR Global Appeal 2008-2009 - Iraq Situation
The massive influx of Iraqis into Jordanian and Syrian urban centres has overwhelmed infrastructure and social services. It is estimated that some two million Iraqis have sought refuge in neighbouring countries, mainly in Syria (1.2 -1.4 million) and Jordan (500,000 - 750,000), but also in Lebanon, Egypt and further afield.
> Read the report at UNHCR.org

The Iraqi Displacement Crisis
An overview of the Iraqi Refugee Crisis by Refugees International.
> Read the report at RefugeesInternational.org

The Iraqi Displaced
The Iraqi Displaced Interactive Site consists of a variety of photos, videos, stories, multimedia, and audio content on displaced persons from the Associated Press. Facts are taken from IOM (International Organization for Migration).
> Read the report at AP.com

United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq
The online portal for the UN Mission in Iraq. Offers resources on all UN agencies and programs in Iraq.
> Read the report at UNIRAQ.org

International Rescue Committee (IRC)
The International Rescue Committee had extensive operations across Iraq from 2003, but increasing violence forced the IRC staff to leave. Since restarting programs in Iraq in November 2007, the IRC has so far assisted nearly 50,000 people and is rapidly expanding programs throughout the country.
> Read the report at THEIRC.org

The International Rescue Committee - Iraqi Refugees: In Dire Straights
6.16.2009
On top of linguistic, educational, and cultural challenges, a troubling economic climate puts newly arrived refuges at serious risk of hunger and homelessness.
> Read the report at IRC.org

Displaced and Returning Families in Iraq Require Continued Assistance and Protection
5.06.2009
The report, based on in-depth nationwide interviews carried out since February 2006 by IOM staff among more than 1.3 million IDPs, highlights the fact that most families continue to live in precarious conditions, occupying land or property illegally, with little or no access to regular humanitarian assistance and to basic commodities.
> Read the report at IOM.int

Iraq: Preventing the Point of No Return
4.09.2009
The number of displaced Iraqis remains high, both inside the country and in neighboring ones. They remain reluctant to go back due to lack of security, the creation of ethnically cleansed neighborhoods, and poor government services.
> Read the report at RefugeesInternational.org

Uprooted and Unstable: Meeting Urgent Humanitarian Needs in Iraq
4.01.2009
Five years after the us-led invasion, iraq remains a deeply violent and divided society. Faced with one of the largest displacement and humanitarian crises in the world, iraqi civilians are in urgent need of assistance. Particularly vulnerable are the 2.7 million internally displaced iraqis who have fled their homes for safer locations inside iraq. unable to access their food rations and often unemployed, they live in squalid conditions, have run out of resources and find it extremely difficult to access essential services. the us, the government of iraq and the international community must begin to address the consequences of leaving iraqis' humanitarian needs unmet.
> Read the report at RefugeesInternational.org





RECOMMENDED READING : NEWS ON THE IRAQI REFUGEE SITUATION
(Updated November 2009)

Iraq: Key figures since the war began
11.2.2009
The Associated Press releases current facts and figures on the War in Iraq.
> Read the article at huffingtonpost.com

SYRIA: Thousands of Iraqi refugees seek resettlement in West
10.29.2009
With savings run dry, incomes unable to match inflation, more stringent visa requirements, and a return to Baghdad ruled too risky by most, the numbers of Iraqi families seeking resettlement from Syria and across the Middle East to Europe and North America is rising fast.
> Read the article at IRINNEWS.org

UN to send Iraqi refugees food aid by text message
10.27.2009
Iraqi refugees in Syria will this week start receive U.N. text messages they can redeem for fresh food in local shops, the World Food Programme said on Tuesday.
> Read the article at Reuters.com

Involuntary returns to Central Iraq contrary to UNHCR guidelines
10.23.2009
UNHCR is concerned about the fact that some European states have begun forcibly returning Iraqi originating from the region of Central Iraq over the last few months. In our guidelines issued last April, we noted that in view of the serious human rights violations and continuing security incidents throughout Iraq, most predominantly in the central governorates, asylum-seekers from these governorates should be considered to be in need of international protection. UNHCR therefore advises against involuntary returns to Iraq of persons originating from Central Iraq until there is a substantial improvement in the security and human rights situation in the country.
> Read the article at UNHCR.org

UN: Most Iraqi refugees in program go to US
10.16.2009
More than 30,000 Iraqis have moved to the United States under a resettlement program that began in 2007 while much smaller numbers have gone to other countries, the U.N. refugee agency said Friday. The big United States intake, which began with the program in 2007, came after Washington had been heavily criticized for taking in too few Iraqi refugees.
> Read the article at AP.com

UNHCR: Refworld News Service
10.16.2009
The United Nations refugee agency has referred more than 80,000 Iraqis to resettlement countries worldwide, with the vast majority of them designated for the United States, but so far fewer than half have left for their new homes, a spokesman said today.
> Read the article at UNHCR.org

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt visit refugees in Syria
10.02.2009
Jolie visited Syria in her role as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations' refugee agency, UNHCR, and was accompanied by her partner, Brad Pitt, the agency said.
> Read the article at huffingtonpost.com

UN - Iranian Kurd refugees in Iraq relocated from no-man's land to camp – UN
7.8.2009
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has shut down a makeshift camp, home to nearly 200 Iranian Kurds refugees, in the no-man's land on the Iraqi-Jordanian border, relocating them to another site on Iraq's border with Syria. The 186 Iranian Kurds were moved by UNHCR's Office in Iraq to Al Waleed camp, which already hosts 1,400 Palestinian refugees.
> Read the article at UN.org

JORDAN-SYRIA: UNHCR funding shortfall for Iraqi refugee
7.06.2009
The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is being forced to cut back its services to Iraqi refugees, primarily in Syria and Jordan, from August, despite a US$5 million donation from Saudi Arabia on 28 June. UNHCR financial and health care assistance to the refugees will be affected.
> Read the article at AlertNet.org

U.S. Troops Withdraw But Displaced Iraqis Remain
6.30.2009
As U.S. troops withdraw from Iraq, Refugees International is calling on the Administration to continue its programs in support of displaced people inside and outside Iraq. During recent missions to Syria and Iraq, RI has learned that displaced people still fear sectarian violence targeted against them and their families. Women who have lost their husbands are particularly vulnerable.
> Read the article at RefugeesInternational.org

A lifeline for those who aided US: Mass.-based man tries to resettle thousands
6.30.2009
Kirk Johnson collects death threats. Not directed at him, but at the people he is fighting to save. "To the dirty infiltrator,'' one of them begins. "To the depraved,'' starts another.
A former US government official in Iraq, Johnson, 28, has spent the last two years trying to save Iraqis who worked for the United States as interpreters, embassy workers, subcontractors, and in other jobs, and as a result were forced into hiding, tortured, raped, or killed by insurgents and militia. His passion to protect those targeted for death is so fierce he's been compared to Oskar Schindler, the German businessman who saved Jews from Nazi death camps.
> Read the article at Boston.com

Living in Exile: Young Iraqi refugees in Syria
6.23.2009
In the summer of 2008 New Exposure, with the support of the UNHCR, worked with a group of young Iraqis who sought refuge in Damascus. British photographers Tom Saunderson and Tim Smyth spent one month teaching them the basics of photography and talking about their lives as refugees. The work they produced provides an original and highly personal glimpse into the hopes and fears of ordinary Iraqi people in the wake of the violence which has torn their country apart.
> Read the article at Independent.co.uk

Most Iraqi refugees are living in Lebanon illegally, facing exploitation
6.20.2009
To say that Iraqi refugees in Lebanon are stuck between a rock and a hard place would be a drastic understatement; a choice between working illegally for low wages or returning to a war torn country is no choice at all. Of the estimated 50,000 Iraqis currently living in the country, only 10,500 are registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Even those who are given refugee status by the UNHCR are not afforded this same status under Lebanese law. As a result, the majority of Iraqi refugees live illegally in Lebanon, in fear of arrest, detention and deportation to the country they fled.
> Read the article at DailyStar.com

Iraqi Immigrants: Refugees in a Land of No Opportunity
6.19.2009
According to assistance agencies, Iraqi refugees across the country — some of whom risked violence, kidnapping and death threats for assisting U.S. forces — face the danger of homelessness in their adopted land, a threat heightened by the foundering economy. The government's refugee-assistance system as it exists is in crisis, and it's failing to meet its basic mandate to protect and serve refugees, said Robert Carey, vice president of resettlement policy at the International Rescue Committee (IRC), which assists Iraqis and other refugees resettle in the U.S. A new report co-sponsored by the IRC and the nonpartisan Migration Policy Institute points out that the problems existed long before the economic downturn, but the recession has highlighted and worsened its flaws.
> Read the article at Time.com

Iraq's Refugees: Again, Spooked Away from Home
5.13.2009
If the surge of violence in Iraq hasn't changed the Obama Administration's plans to withdraw American troops from the country, it has certainly forced many Iraqi refugees to put off plans to return to the country. A series of bombings across Iraq in April killed more than 200, the highest monthly body count in roughly a year. Andrew Harper, head of the Iraq Support Unit created by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told TIME that the rate of refugee return slowed dramatically in April. And a "significant number" of returnees have turned around and fled the country again.
> Read the article at Time.com

Syria: Fear Over Gender-based Violence in Iraqi Community
4.06.2009
UN agencies and aid groups have reported increases in gender-based violence in Iraqi communities in Damascus. Known cases average 13 per week. Groups are increasing outreach to men, affected women, and healthcare providers in the area.
> Read the article at IRINNews.org

Iraqi Refugees in Egypt: Living a Nightmare
2.06.2009
Russia Today profiles the stories of several of the 100,000 Iraqi Refugees living in Egypt.
> Read the article at RussiaToday.com