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Iraqi Refugees

Volume 455: debated on Thursday 25 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assistance is being given by his Department to the refugees from Iraq who have crossed Iraqi borders into neighbouring countries. (111142)

We are very concerned at the increasing numbers of people fleeing the sectarian violence in Iraq. The United Nations estimate that the total number of Iraqi refugees living in neighbouring countries has risen to 1.8 million, with 492,000 displaced since the Samarra bombing in February 2006.

I have just announced a £4 million contribution to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to provide emergency assistance, including water, medical supplies and rehabilitation of health infrastructure to vulnerable people, including IDPs inside Iraq. We are also considering UNHCR’s appeal, which includes help to refugees in neighbouring countries. This brings our total humanitarian contribution for Iraq to over £120 million since 2003, including £85 million for the UN’s 2003 Humanitarian Appeal and £36 million to the International Red Cross. Additionally, DFID provided £70 million to the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI), which provides support to internally displaced persons.