UNHCR shocked by another attack affecting Camp Hurriya in Iraq, renews calls for safety and immediate relocation of residents

Press Releases, 27 December 2013

Geneva, 27.12.2013

The UN refugee agency strongly condemns last night's attack on the Baghdad International Airport Zone, during which a number of rockets landed on Camp Hurriya reportedly killing three and injuring many more in the camp. At least four camp residents who sustained serious injuries were reportedly rushed to hospitals in Baghdad by the Iraqi authorities.

Camp Hurriya has already been hit on multiple occasions. Camp New Iraq (formerly Ashraf), where residents were previously staying, was also target of an attack in the past. UNHCR has consistently deplored such unacceptable attacks.

UNHCR remains deeply concerned for the safety of the residents of Camp Hurriya and is calling on the government of Iraq to urgently scale up security measures in the camp to ensure the safety and security of its residents. We are also urging the government to launch a full scale independent investigation into all the incidents.

UNHCR urgently reiterates the need to find solutions for the camp's residents, and is appealing to countries to act urgently on 1,400 cases from Camp Hurriya that have already been submitted for relocation. Since 2011, UNHCR, together with UNAMI, has been engaged in an effort to find relocation opportunities outside Iraq for some 3,200 residents of the Camp. So far, the international community has managed to secure the relocation to third countries of 311 residents, clearly demonstrating that more relocation places are urgently needed.

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Crisis in Iraq: Displacement

UNHCR and its partners estimate that out of a total population of 26 million, some 1.9 million Iraqis are currently displaced internally and more than 2 million others have fled to nearby countries. While many people were displaced before 2003, increasing numbers of Iraqis are now fleeing escalating sectarian, ethnic and general violence. Since January 2006, UNHCR estimates that more than 800,000 Iraqis have been uprooted and that 40,000 to 50,000 continue to flee their homes every month. UNHCR anticipates there will be approximately 2.3 million internally displaced people within Iraq by the end of 2007. The refugee agency and its partners have provided emergency assistance, shelter and legal aid to displaced Iraqis where security has allowed.

In January 2007, UNHCR launched an initial appeal for US$60 million to fund its Iraq programme. Despite security issues for humanitarian workers inside the country, UNHCR and partners hope to continue helping up to 250,000 of the most vulnerable internally displaced Iraqis and their host communities

Posted on 12 June 2007

Crisis in Iraq: Displacement

Non-Iraqi Refugees in Jordan

After Saddam Hussein's regime was toppled in Iraq in 2003, groups of refugees who had lived in the country for many years tried to leave the chaos and lawlessness that soon ensued. Hundreds of people started fleeing to the border with Jordan, including Palestinians in Baghdad and Iranian Kurds from the Al Tash refugee camp in central Iraq.

Aside from a few Palestinians with family connections inside the neighbouring country, the refugees were refused entry and free movement in Jordan. Thousands were soon stranded in the no-man's land between Iraq and Jordan or at the desert camp of Ruweished, located 60 kilometres inside Jordan.

Since 2003, Palestinians, Iranian Kurds, Iranians, Sudanese and Somalis have been living there and suffering the scorching heat and freezing winters of the Jordanian desert. UNHCR and its partners have provided housing and assistance and tried to find solutions – the agency has helped resettle more than 1,000 people in third countries. At the beginning of 2007, a total of 119 people – mostly Palestinians – remained in Ruweished camp without any immediate solution in sight.

Posted on 20 February 2007

Non-Iraqi Refugees in Jordan

Iraqi Refugees in Jordan

The UN refugee agency has launched a US$60 million appeal to fund its work helping hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees and internally displaced people. The new appeal concludes that unremitting violence in Iraq will likely mean continued mass internal and external displacement affecting much of the surrounding region. The appeal notes that the current exodus is the largest long-term population movement in the Middle East since the displacement of Palestinians following the creation of Israel in 1948.

UNHCR has warned that the longer this conflict goes on, the more difficult it will become for the hundreds of thousands of displaced and the communities that are trying to help them – both inside and outside Iraq. Because the burden on host communities and governments in the region is enormous, it is essential that the international community support humanitarian efforts.

The US$60 million will cover UNHCR's protection and assistance programmes for Iraqi refugees in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Turkey, as well as non-Iraqi refugees and internally displaced people within Iraq itself.

Posted on 10 January 2007

Iraqi Refugees in Jordan

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