Iraq Refugees May Rival Darfur

According to The Guardian, there are now 1.8 million Internally Displaced Persons in Iraq, and 2 million refugees who have sought safety in other Arab nations.  Although all numbers from Darfur are estimates, most figures guess at between 2 and 2.5 million refugees and IDPs.

Obviously, this is not to say that the crisis in Iraq is the same as that in Darfur; much of the exodus from Iraq has been the wealthy and skilled.  That makes their lives easier than those of Darfur refugees, but may cripple Iraq's reconstruction.  Moreover, many Iraqi refugees are given refuge in urban areas of Syria, Egypt, or other Arab nations, as opposed to living in camps in Sudan or Chad.  Also, far fewer people are confirmed dead in Iraq (about 57,000) than are estimated to have died in Darfur (200,000-400,000). 

However, when the UN says that Iraq is quickly becoming one of the largest refugee crisises in the world, it is a serious issue.  And when Al-Jazeera reports that, if current rates continue, 10% of Iraq's population will have left the country (to say nothing of the number of Iraqis displaced within the country), there is a serious problem. 

The newest Irony?  The US has announced it will be accepting 7000 Iraqi refugees.  Although its nice of us to reach out, perhaps we should be responsible for more than .35% of the refugees from a crisis we created.   How many more Iraqis would honestly want to live in the US is another question, but when the richest nation on earth creates a refugee crisis, do you suppose they could pay to alleviate the suffering of some of those refugees?

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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