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

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie meets Iraqi refugees in Syria

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie returned to the Syrian capital Damascus on 2 October, 2009 to meet Iraqi refugees two years after her last visit. The award-winning American actress, accompanied by her partner Brad Pitt, took the opportunity to urge the international community not to forget the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees who remain in exile despite a relative improvement in the security situation in their homeland. Jolie said most Iraqi refugees cannot return to Iraq in view of the severe trauma they experienced there, the uncertainty linked to the coming Iraqi elections, the security issues and the lack of basic services. They will need continued support from the international community, she said. The Goodwill Ambassador visited the homes of two vulnerable Iraqi families in the Jaramana district of southern Damascus. She was particularly moved during a meeting with a woman from a religious minority who told Jolie how she was physically abused and her son tortured after being abducted earlier this year in Iraq and held for days. They decided to flee to Syria, which has been a generous host to refugees.

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie meets Iraqi refugees in Syria

Angelina Jolie returns to Iraq, urges support for the displaced

UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie returned to Iraq in July 2009 to offer support to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who remain displaced within their own country.

During her day-long visit to Baghdad, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie visited a makeshift settlement for internally displaced people in north-west Baghdad where she met families displaced from the district of Abu Ghraib, located to the west of Baghdad, and from the western suburbs of the capital.

Despite the difficulties in Iraq, Jolie said this was a moment of opportunity for Iraqis to rebuild their lives. "This is a moment where things seem to be improving on the ground, but Iraqis need a lot of support and help to rebuild their lives."

UNHCR estimates that 1.6 million Iraqis were internally displaced by a wave of sectarian warfare that erupted in February 2006 after the bombing of a mosque in the ancient city of Samarra. Almost 300,000 people have returned to their homes amid a general improvement in the security situation since mid-2008.

Angelina Jolie returns to Iraq, urges support for the displaced

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