Four million. That’s the number of Iraqis who have become refugees or internally displaced persons since “major combat operations” started five years ago.
As Dr. iRaq has pointed out, “the bigger threat to stability is not the outward flow of refugees from Iraq, but the desire of externally and internally displaced Iraqis to come home.” With that in mind, I’d like to draw your attention to this new emergency needs assessment by the International Organization for Migration. Or, if you don’t have the time, here’s a ReliefWeb summary.
Among the findings:
[…] Returns throughout the country remain erratic as increasing numbers of destitute internally displaced families risk being evicted from public buildings or land they illegally occupy because they have no other place to go to.
[…] Returnees throughout the country face a chronic shortage of facilities, with almost half of the families saying they only had intermittent access to government food rations, which remain largely insufficient to meet their needs. Access to potable water, education, health care and medicines also remains problematic, particularly for poor families.