Forced Migration Review Special Issue - Iraq's displacement crisis: The search for solutions


One in six Iraqis is displaced. After a conflict which has now lasted as long as the First World War over two million Iraqis are in exile and a further two million are internally displaced. Most refugees are in Syria and Jordan - which hosts the largest number of refugees per capita of any country on earth. The vast majority survive with little or no assistance from the international community. Eight million Iraqis are in need of humanitarian assistance.

Insecurity prevents a robust response to humanitarian needs. The UN's dependence on Coalition military forces means it is no longer perceived by the Iraqi people as neutral. The Government of Iraq lacks capacity to respond to the crisis and inflexible funding mechanisms deny adequate support for agencies which are better able to assist vulnerable communities.

A special issue of FMR - published in English and in Arabic - assesses the scale of the displacement and highlights the inadequacy of current responses. Twenty-six articles - from the UN, the governments of Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Sweden, the Red Cross, the Iraqi Red Crescent, Human Rights Watch and non-governmental agencies - offer suggestions to prevent a further escalation of the humanitarian crisis and to establish an eventual framework for the durable return of displaced Iraqis.

The special issue includes contributions from:

- António Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees

- Abdul Samad Rahman Sultan, Minister, Ministry of Displacement and Migration, Government of Iraq

- Ambassador Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Iraq

- Mukhaimer Abu Jamous, Secretary General, Ministry of the Interior, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

- Dr Faisal al Mikdad, Deputy Foreign Minister, Syrian Arab Republic

- Gunilla Carlsson, Minister for International Development Cooperation and Tobias Billström, Minister for Migration, Sweden

- Walter Kälin, Representative of the UN Secretary-General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Person

- Andrew Harper, head, Iraq Unit UNHCR

- International Organization for Migration (IOM)

- Iraqi Red Crescent Society

- International Committee of the Red Cross

- Frontiers Ruwad Association, Lebanon

- United Nations Population Fund UNFPA

- Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, Norwegian Refugee Council, Geneva

- Islamic Relief Worldwide

- International Medical Corps

- Human Rights Watch

- Save the Children UK