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The agony of Iraq's refugees
In mid-October, the United Nations reported that 2,000 Iraqis flee their homes every day. 2.2 million are refugees in their own country, while more than 2.2m have fled to neighbouring countries. (1m were displaced prior to the 2003 invasion.)
In Syria, the 1.2m Iraqi refugees amount to 7% of the population; while in Jordan, 500,000 - 750,000 Iraqi refugees make up perhaps 10% of the population.
A comparable inflow in Britain would see 4m refugees entering the country.
And Britain, one of the two countries most responsible for creating the largest refugee crisis in the Middle East since 1948, has done almost nothing to help.
The refugee crisis costs Jordan and Syria an estimated $1bn a year each. In contrast, in the first seven months of 2007, Britain contributed a paltry $20.3m to humanitarian agencies operating in Iraq and the region.
This is less than 0.5% of the roughly Â£5bn it has spent on the Iraq war over the past five years.
Solving the problem
In April, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Refugee Council called on the British government to support those countries in the region that are sheltering the vast majority of refugees from Iraq, to create a major programme to resettle Iraqi refugees in Britain, and to suspend forcible deportations to Iraq.
All these proposals have been ignored.
Kathy Kelly, the legendary US peace activist just returned from four months living with Iraqi refugees in Jordan, will be on a speaking tour 13-17 November, including the 15 November London launch of Sonia Azad's film of Iraqi children refugees. See p16 for full details or call 0845 458 2564.
(From the same number you can obtain the latest Voices newsletter, which contains crucial information about Iraq and Afghanistan.)