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Canada doubles Iraqi refugee quota
Government says it is responding to current situation in the troubled country.
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2008 03:37 GMT
More than two million Iraqis have fled abroad since
the 2003 invasion [GALLO/GETTY]

Canada is to double the number of Iraqi refugees it permits to enter the country next year, according to immigration officials.
 
Diane Finley, Canada's citizenship and immigration minister, said on Wednesday that Canada would accept between 1,800 and 2,000 Iraqi refugees in 2008, up from about 900 people last year.
Canada is also increasing its Middle East resettlement target to 3,300 people this year, marking a 54 per cent increase compared to last year.
 
"We are responding to the situation in Iraq by significantly increasing the number of Iraqi refugees we accept," Finley said.
"Consistent with Canada's longstanding tradition of providing protection to refugees most in need, we will continue to monitor this situation and explore options to further meet resettlement needs with respect to Iraqis."
 
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that since the Iraq conflict began in 2003 more than two million Iraqis have fled violence in the country, mostly to Syria, Jordan and Egypt.
 
An additional 2.5 million have been displaced internally due to the violence, the organisation says.
 
Every year, 19 countries resettle about 100,000 refugees, of which Canada annually resettles 10,000 to 12,000 refugees from 70 different nationalities.
 
Canada's announcement comes as the world has marked the fifth anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq.
Source:
Agencies
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