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Don't Forget Iraqi Refugees

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REFUGEES INTERNATIONAL LAUNCHES CAMPAIGN URGING OBAMA TO HELP IRAQI REFUGEES

For Immediate Release: February 18, 2009

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Washington D.C. - As President Obama works to stabilize Iraq, he must be sure to comprehensively address the Iraqi refugee crisis. Five million Iraqis have been uprooted by conflict, forced to leave everything behind. They have sought refuge within Iraq, Syria, Jordan and other neighboring countries. They are running out of resources with little opportunity for employment; access to food, heath care, education and other essential services is extremely limited. The conditions for Iraqis to return home safely do not exist, and millions of Iraqi refugees are unlikely and unwilling to return to Iraq in the foreseeable future. The U.S. administration must lead international efforts to meet the long-term needs of displaced Iraqis. Failure to assist Iraqis will have dramatic impacts on security inside Iraq.

Refugees International has launched a new campaign urging President Obama to do more to help Iraqi refugees.

The campaign features a petition urging the Obama administration to:

  1. Assist Iraqi refugees.
  2. Ensure a safe, voluntary return home when possible.
  3. Pressure Iraq to meet its responsibilities to its own people.
  4. Increase resettlement for those who can't go home.

Supporters can sign the petition here: http://www.refugeesinternational.org/iraq

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The campaign also features two candid videos about the lives of Iraqi refugees in Syria, Iraqi Refugees: The View From Syria and Khaled's Story, which can both be viewed here: http://www.refugeesinternational.org/iraq-videos.

In Iraqi Refugees: the View From Syria, Kristèle Younès, Refugees International Senior Advocate says, “At this stage, what we’re looking at is millions of impoverished people who have basically joined the ranks of the urban poor, wherever they have sought refuge, and who are quickly becoming desperate.”

Please sign the petition and share with others who demand a stable Iraq.

Refugees International is a Washington, D.C.-based organization that advocates to end refugee crises. Since November 2006, the organization has conducted seven missions to the Middle East to identify the needs of Iraqi refugees and internally displaced people in Iraq. After ongoing pressure from Refugees International, the U.S. State Department increased its assistance for Iraqi refugees from $43 million in 2006 to $398 million in 2008.

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Don't Forget Iraqi Refugees