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Middle East
Iraq faces displacement crisis
One in ten Iraqis could be displaced by violence by the end of 2007.
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2007 20:10 GMT
Up to 2.4 million Iraqis could be displaced
by the end of 2007 [EPA]
Around one in ten Iraqis could be internally displaced by the end of 2007 as the security situation deteriorates, the International Office for Migration has said.
 
The agency said one million more people in Iraq could be forced to flee their homes by the end of the year, on top of the 1.4 million people already displaced by the end of 2006.
Many displaced persons live in makeshift houses without electricity or sanitation, the Geneva-based organisation said.
 
The group said that donors were not responding to its appeals for funds to help the needy.
The last official Iraqi census in 1997 put the population at 24 million, while the latest estimate in the CIA factbook, from July 2006, is around 27 million, the IOM said.
 
Donor crisis
 
Rafiq Tschannen, IOM's chief of mission in Iraq, said: "The needs are enormous. Emergency supplies such as shelter and food are needed urgently for these people who are suffering both physically and psychologically."
 
"Those who are internally displaced are largely people who don't have the financial resources to leave the country," he added.
 
So far the IOM has received just $1 million, with pledges of a further $6 million, of the $50 million it has sought for its work in Iraq in 2007.
 
Last year it raised $9 million after appealing for $25 million.
 
In the last three weeks alone, almost 18,000 people have been displaced in the 15 central and southern governorates of Iraq, taking the overall number of displaced people from these regions to 290,000 since February 2006, the IOM said.
 
A further 84,000 people have been reported internally displaced in Iraq's three northern governorates over the same period, the group said.
Source:
Agencies
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