Baghdad (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Iraqi Red Crescent Society is warning that the growing number of internally displaced people (IDP) “is intensifying an already unstable situation.” In a recent report it said that 1,037,615 Iraqis have become IDPs since 22 February 2006, when a revered Shia shrine in Samarra was attacked. Since last January there has been an increase of nearly 67 per cent in IDPs at an average of 80,000-100,000 a month.
Topping the list of areas with most IDPs are the capital Baghdad with 41,969 families; Mosul Province with 15,063 families; and Salaheddin Province, north of Baghdad, with 12,781.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNCHR), about 1.9 million Iraqis are internally displaced.
The situation is tragic from an employment point of view as more and more people lose their jobs. Similarly health care is deteriorating with an increasing number of people lacking access to minimum treatment levels, with pregnant women left on their own or forced to have abortions. The education sector has not been spared with shortages in education material and increasing class size or inability to attend class because of insecurity.
The net result has been IDPs forced to live in tents, on roadsides, in searing summer heat with limited supplies of drinking water.