Monday, November 12, 2007

Help the Iraqi People

The crisis in Iraq is one of the largest and fastest growing humanitarian crises in the world.
Since the Iraq War began in 2003, 2.5 million Iraqi women, men and children have fled their country due to extreme violence and persecution. Another two million are displaced inside Iraq. Most escaped with nothing and have nowhere to go.

We have a special responsibility to protect and assist vulnerable Iraqi refugees. Their lives are at risk. Now we must do the right thing. Urge your Senators and Representative to pass legislation that provides shelter, health, education, and resettlement opportunities for Iraqi refugees.

IRC is accelerating a critically important response to assist Iraqis whose lives are at risk – thousands of whom were forced to flee because of their ethnicity, religion, or association with the United States. Up until the Syrian border closed in October 2007, as many as 60,000 Iraqis were fleeing each month.

IRC senior policy adviser Anna Husarska recently visited some of these refugees at their temporary homes throughout the Middle East:
In Amman, a technician who used to install satellite dishes for GIs showed me a death threat and told me his brother had been killed. And in Beirut, a former soldier of the Free Iraqi Forces told me that he's terrified that local Islamic militias will learn that he served as an intelligence officer for the Americans and will capture and torture him.

IRC is urging Congress to provide a comprehensive package of assistance to help vulnerable Iraqis. This would include aid to uprooted Iraqis, assistance to countries that are sheltering them, and a robust program to admit vulnerable Iraqis to the United States. In the past twelve months, only 1,608 Iraqi refugees were allowed to enter the United States.

Let Congress know that lives are at stake. Do your part by taking action today – and help protect vulnerable Iraqi refugees whose lives remain at risk. Our timing is more urgent than ever before. The United States must contribute more to help Iraqi victims.

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