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Herald Tribune, June 17, 2008

Conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq swell refugee numbers

11.4 million people were forced to leave their countries in 2007, compared to 9.9 million in 2006

LONDON: Conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq are creating new waves of refugees, according to the United Nations refugee agency.

The report released Tuesday by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees shows around 3 million Afghans fled to Pakistan and Iran, and around 2 million Iraqis moved, mainly to Syria and Jordan.

A total of 11.4 million refugees were under the care of the agency, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, in 2007, including about 400,000 experiencing conflict in their home countries, the agency said. The total for 2006 was 9.9 million.
Herald Tribune, June 17, 2008

Refugees from those two countries account for nearly half the refugees under UNHCR care in 2007.

The report shows that refugee numbers are growing. It says 11.4 million people were forced to leave their countries in 2007, compared to 9.9 million in 2006. Another 26 million were displaced from their homes within their own countries, up from 24.2 million the year before.

"After a five year decline in the number of refugees between 2001 and 2005, we have now seen two years of increases, and that's a concern" said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres. "We are now faced with a complex mid of global challenges that could threaten even more forced displacement in the future."

Guterres said environmental degradation and rising food prices was generating instability in many places. -AP

Category: Refugees/IDPs - Views: 11751


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