Another million people could flee homes this year

The United Nations and international agencies have warned that if sectarian violence in Iraq does not abate, up to a million new people could become displaced in 2007, putting an increasing burden on the country's infrastructure and resources. "At the current rate of 40,000 to 50,000 a month, up to 2.3 million might be permanently displaced by the end of this year," Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, told the Arab League in Cairo on Sunday. He added that of Iraq's population of about 27 million, 1.8 million people had already been displaced within the country and another two million had fled its borders, with one million having gone to Syria, 750,000 to Jordan and 150,000 to Egypt. The UN itself chose to leave Iraq in 2003, after its Baghdad headquarters were bombed twice, killing 25 people, mostly UN staff. Since then, UN agencies have handled Iraq from Amman, Jordan but are stepping up efforts to address the country's multifaceted humanitarian problem.

//electroniciraq.net/news/2938.shtml

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