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Iraq: Aid agencies cannot cope with displacement

transmitter | 10.01.2007 15:48 | Anti-militarism | Migration | World

The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) has warned that the scale of internal displacement in Iraq was beyond the capacity of humanitarian agencies, including UNHCR. The UNHCR added that the longer the displacement continued, the more difficult it would become as the internally displaced and their host communities in Iraq run out of resources.

The UNHCR issued the warning in a report on Tuesday when it said that a larger humanitarian crisis was looming in Iraq than anticipated by aid agencies at the onset of the US-led war in 2003. Violence across much of the central and southern regions has been displacing thousands of people every month, said the agency.

Between January and mid-November 2006 an estimated 425,000 Iraqis fled their homes for other areas inside the country, most after sectarian violence sparked by the bombing of an important Shiite mosque in Samara in February 2006, according to the refugee agency. At mid-year, internal displacement was estimated to be continuing at a rate of about 50,000 a month.