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Afghanistan + 6 others
Humanitarian Update: Regional Office for the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, May 2008


On 23 May, Saudi Arabia announced an extraordinary US$500 million donation to WFP, enabling the UN agency to meet its call for US$755 million to compensate for the increased costs of food and fuel. WFP's Executive Director, Ms Josette Sheeran, said the money will not only offset food and fuel costs, but will secure much-needed food for programmes throughout Africa and other parts of the world.

The increase of high food prices continues to impact the work of humanitarian organizations across the region, however,

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit

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Japan gives 5.7 million US dollars for food aid to Palestine refugees

Amman, 29 May 2008 - Japan today announced that it will contribute 5.7 million US dollars (Yen 600 million) to UNRWA's regular food programme for 2008 to 2009. The programme caters to the needs of the most vulnerable Palestine refugees in the five fields of UNRWA operations (the Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and the West Bank).

"With this contribution, Japan and its people are once again demonstrating their strong commitment to the well-being of Palestine refugees", said UNRWA Commissioner-General, Karen AbuZayd. "The food that these funds purchase will cater to the

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Iraq + 1 other
WER sends food and humanitarian aid to Iraqi refugees in Jordan

World Emergency Relief (WER) is sending food and humanitarian aid, including clothes and blankets, to Iraqi refugees in Jordan.

The goods were donated to WER and our partner agency Glasgow the Caring City (GtCC) by businesses across the UK and will be distributed to families in Jordan through local Jordanian charity IOMERD.

WER has been working in close partnership with IOMERD since 2006 and has shipped more than 100 tons of humanitarian aid to Jordan for distribution to Iraqi refugee families as well as local Jordanian families who are suffering similar levels of hardship due to

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Iraq + 2 others
UNHCR faces difficulty helping neediest Iraqis in Jordan

AMMAN, Jordan, May 27 (UNHCR) - Amid rising food and energy prices, exacerbated by the withdrawal of state fuel subsidies, the UN refugee agency will find it increasingly difficult to help the growing numbers of Iraqi refugees in need of assistance in Jordan.

Vulnerable Jordanians and Iraqis have been particularly hard hit by the economic developments. And while the government has tried to cushion the blow with public sector wage increases and the establishment of a social safety net, these initiatives will not benefit Iraqis, most of whom are not entitled to earn a living in Jordan.

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Iraq + 3 others
A long road for Iraq's refugees

Author: Greg Bruno

The plight of Iraq's refugees, often overlooked amid the ongoing challenges of reconstruction and redevelopment, has surfaced as a major policy challenge for the United States and Iraq as nongovernmental organizations, aid groups, and lawmakers demand more be done to address the problem. The United Nations estimates that three decades of war and internal conflict have uprooted nearly five million Iraqis. Despite a clear and present need for action, however, a political consensus on a new policy toward these refugees remains elusive. As Rep.

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Iraq + 2 others
UNHCR faces funding shortfall for Iraq operation

GENEVA - Faced with a looming funding shortfall, the UN refugee agency warned today that it could soon be forced to reduce and in some cases to halt a number of assistance programs for hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees unless donor governments provide additional support.

Agency officials told a donor meeting at UNHCR headquarters in Geneva that they lack $127 million required for assistance programs for uprooted people in and around Iraq through the end of the year.

"We will not be able to help hundreds

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OPT: Briefing by UNRWA Commissioner-General Karen AbuZayd

Capitol Hill - I extend my warm appreciation to Congressman Kucinich for kindly organising this hearing. Thanks also to his staff for their help in preparing it. The invitation reflects a growing interest on Capitol Hill in the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). The Congressman's invitation, and your participation, provide a welcome opportunity for me to brief on UNRWA's work, and update you on the grim situation in the West Bank and, in particular, the Gaza Strip.

To my regret, the Arab-Israeli conflict

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Iraq + 1 other
Refugee resettlement program for Iraqis in Jordan, Egypt and Iraq with U.S. affiliations

Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration
Washington, DC

Certain categories of Iraqis with U.S. affiliations may apply directly for consideration under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) in Jordan, Egypt and Iraq. Refugee processing inside Iraq will be limited by security and logistical constraints and we encourage the majority of Iraqis with U.S. affiliations to apply for USRAP consideration in Jordan or Egypt if possible. At the present time, our capacity to process Iraqi refugees for resettlement is much greater in Jordan and Egypt than in Iraq.

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Iraq + 2 others
USG Pascoe reiterates UN commitment to Iraq at the Third Ministerial Conference of Neighboring Countries

By Randa Jamal

The Third Expanded Ministerial Conference of the Neighboring Countries of Iraq held in Kuwait on April 22, 2008, highlighted several central themes, but most prominently regional dialogue and the role of neighboring countries in promoting stability in Iraq. Succeeding in achieving several constructive steps, the conference also generated a momentum among participants for working towards a peaceful, stable and developed Iraq. Both regional and international partners echoed these sentiments and goals. As part of this, the participants agreed to hold the next Ministerial