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Home > About Us > Press Center > Emergency Response: Needs in the Middle East

Iraq Refugee Crisis

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Rachel Wolff

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03/19/2008Five years after war, refugee crisis looms large for Iraq
06/14/2007Iraqi refugee children bear scars of violence ...

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Five years after war, refugee crisis looms large for Iraq

As the world marks the fifth anniversary of the Coalition invasion of Iraq, World Vision is calling on the international community to address the challenge of 2 million Iraqi refugees who have fled the violence in their country. Another 2.2 million are estimated to be displaced within Iraq.

In 2008, chronic under-funding of United Nations' appeals threatens to force a severe curtailment in the level of services currently offered to refugees by the humanitarian community. Urgent action is needed to ensure adequate education, health care, psychosocial support and basic supplies reach families sheltering in Jordan, Syria and other neighboring countries.

“The scale of the crisis facing the people of Iraq, inside and outside its borders, is so great that its neighbors simply do not have the necessary resources to cope,” said World Vision's advocacy director for the Middle East, Sharon Payt.

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With anecdotal reports of families resorting to the sex trade, child labor and other desperate means to survive, World Vision is especially concerned about the welfare of Iraqi refugee children and women.
photo by Ashley Clements/World Vision

An elderly Iraqi refugee poses in the hallway of her two-room apartment, which she shares with her three sons in Amman, Jordan. They rarely leave their home and none of them has held a proper job in more than a decade.
photo by Ashley Clements/World Vision

Iraqi families receive food supplements from one of World Vision’s partner organizations in Jordan.
photo by Stephen Matthews/World Vision

>> see more photos

In His Own Words:

Watch a video of an interview with 9-year-old Fawaz, and Iraqi refugee.

Photo Gallery

Miriam, an Iraqi refugee, struggles to provide for her four children in Jordan. They fled Iraq after her husband was murdered.
photo by Ashley Clements/World Vision
Refugees living in Jordan often spend their waking hours behind closed doors. Children cannot go to Jordanian schools. The adults cannot work legally.
Photo by John Schenk/World Vision

The boy who drew this picture is 16. He has never been to school. He spends most of his time at home because his mother is afraid he will be picked up by the police.
Photo by John Schenk/World Vision
Hadi, 12, fled Iraq with his family because militants threatened to kill his father. They now live in a one-room apartment in Jordan.
Photo by Brian Jonson/World Vision

World Vision funds a safe haven for Iraqi refugee children and Jordanian children. The center is located in one of Amman's many poverty-ridden suburbs where some 800,000 Iraqi refugees live.
photo by Ashley Clements/World Vision
This Sabean-Mandean Iraqi refugee girl lives in one of Amman's poverty-ridden neighborhoods. She practices her writing skills at home with her mother. Refugee children cannot go to Jordanian schools.
photo by Ashley Clements/World Vision

Fawaz, an Iraqi refugee in Amman, keeps his school bag packed in the hopes that one day he will be allowed to go to school. Iraqi refugees have no official status in Jordan.
photo by Ashley Clements/World Vision
Hadi, 12, with his sister, Hoda, 6, stand outside the apartment that has been their home since they fled Iraq. Hadi witnessed a friend’s death when an errant bomb struck his house while his friend was inside.
photo by Brian Jonson/World Vision

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