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IraqSide:Developments
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Red Crescent: External Displaced Count Spikes
Reassessment of Displaced Increases Estimates of Iraqis in Syria, Iran, Egypt
07/03/2007 08:45 AM ET
Damascus, SYRIA: Iraqi refugees wait to register at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) center in the Damascus suburb of Duma, 23 April 2007.
Ramzi Haidar/AFP/Getty
Damascus, SYRIA: Iraqi refugees wait to register at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) center in the Damascus suburb of Duma, 23 April 2007.

The Iraqi Red Crescent just released a new report on externally displaced Iraqis, and the latest statistics indicate a sharp spike in the official count of Iraqi refugees abroad since the UNHCR released its last numbers in April.

The UNHCR's April count figured 1.2 million Iraqis had sought refuge in Syria, but the Iraqi Red Crescent now estimates the number at 1.5 to 2 million. Iran went from 54,000 in April to 100,000 now, and Egypt increased from 100,000 to 150,000.

According to the Red Crescent, the new statistics were obtained "through coordination with the Iraqi Embassy in Amman/Jordan, International Non-governmental Organizations and particularly with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)."

While the population of displaced Iraqis is always on the rise, such a sharp spike over the past few months most likely indicates a more careful accounting of Iraqi refugees, rather than a new flood fleeing the violence.

Following April's donor conference in Geneva, for example, the UNHCR increased the yearly budget for their operations in Syria from $700,000 to $16 million, adding a new refufee center in Douma and quadrupling the staff available to register the influx of homeless Iraqis.

Iraqi Red Crescent Report on the Externally Displaced, July 2007 ICRO_EDP_07_07.pdf

UNHCR Report on the Externally Displaced, April 2007 unhcr_april2007.pdf

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