A short AP dispatch provides an update on the number of internally displaced Iraqis, which had heretofore most often been reported as about 2.2 million.
Aid groups including U.N. agencies say nearly 2.8 million Iraqis are now uprooted within their country. Iraqi authorities, the Red Cross and U.N. agencies working in Iraq say they have recorded an increase of 300,000 displaced people so far this year largely due to better methods for registering displacement. The International Organization for Migration says more than 1 million displaced Iraqis lack adequate food and shelter. A similar number are without regular income or employment. In addition to those displaced within Iraq, more than 2 million Iraqis have fled the country and are living as refugees abroad.It bears reminding that it is the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq that has led the efforts to care for -- and return to their homes, when possible -- these almost 5 million displaced Iraqis. This is a pretty impressive feat for a mission currently operating with just a tiny staff; the UN refugee agency only recently increased its personnel in Baghdad from two to five.