UN Iraqi refugee programme facing crisis

May 10th, 2008 - 1:16 pm ICT by admin  

Geneva, May 10 (Xinhua) The UN refugee agency has said that its programme to help Iraqi refugees is at risk due to a grave funding crisis. The Geneva-based UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Friday said it would be short of $127 million by the end of the year for programmes to help some 4.7 million displaced Iraqi refugees.

“We will not be able to help hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable Iraqi refugees and internally displaced if we do not receive funding for the remainder of 2008,” Antonio Guterres said.

The commissioner said the humanitarian crisis in the wake of the Iraq war may become more serious amid concerns over soaring fuel and food prices.

In January, the UN agency appealed for $261 million for aid but has only received $134 million so far.

Apart from some 2.7 million Iraqis displaced within Iraq and about two million who have fled to neighbouring countries, the agency also offers help for some 41,000 non-Iraqi refugees in Iraq, including Palestinians and Iranians.

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