Study: Jordan Hosts Half-Million Iraqis

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Earlier I posted an important article which everybody needs to read about the future geopolitical ramifications of the Iraqi refugee problem, written by Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East Program at the Johns Hopkins Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). I believe unfortunately Alterman’s foresight will prove correct and we’re likely to see many more stories like this one from Reuters (posted below). Imagine the effects on a country like Jordan, with a population of only 5.6 million, receiving an influx of over a half-million refugees (and more by some accounts) with no immediate plans to leave. As Alterman writes, For too long, the Iraqi refugee problem has been seen merely as a humanitarian problem. It is that, but it is also a strategic one. Hundreds of thousands of increasingly desperate, unassimilated refugees can do dramatic things, and among them is threatening the stability of their new home… Jordan’s refugee problem is compounded by a crisis brewing on its western border. With Hamas’ rise in the Palestinian territories, and the Fatah-led government’s determination to squelch it, instability there leaches into Jordan’s majority Palestinian community. The peril increases as U.S. policymakers and others push Jordan to deepen connections to the West Bank as a way of improving conditions in Palestine and supporting President Mahmoud Abbas. It may all work out well, but the danger is that Jordan falls prey to the crises on its eastern and western borders.”

(Reuters) – Jordan is home to about half a million Iraqi refugees, most of whom fled violence in their country after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, a study released by a research body said on Tuesday.

The Oslo-based Norwegian Research Institute (FAFO) said a six-month long survey commissioned by the Jordanian government showed the majority of Iraqi refugees were Sunni Muslims who fled from the capital Baghdad.

The largest influx of Iraqis arrived in 2005, according to data provided by Jordanian border authorities.

Earlier unofficial estimates of the numbers of Iraqis residing in Jordan were put as high as one million.

The study said more than 95 percent of Iraqis interviewed had no plans to return to Iraq before security stabilised and almost one in five were already seeking to emigrate to the West.

Aid workers estimate at least 2.2 million Iraqis have fled to other countries, mainly Syria and Jordan. Both these countries have tightened migration rules for Iraqis.

Iraq had a pre-war population of about 27 million.

U.N. agencies say the refugees are driven by violence, poor services and unemployment.

Jordan says its Iraqi refugees cost about $1 billion a year, stretching the resources of a country of just 5.6 million people.

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2 Responses to “Study: Jordan Hosts Half-Million Iraqis”

  1. Trey Campbell Says:

    This is a serious security issue. This number of refugees without the proper humanitarian support to sustain them is a breeding ground for Hamas/Hezbollah type aid-militias. Those terrorist we are not making inside Iraq are going to be hatched within these refugee communities.

  2. mustafa Says:

    jordan took more than 25 bilion dolars from saddam gov + free oil
    now they also take milions everyday + very cheap oil
    jordan wanna make a trade
    the wanna look ” angels” to the world
    to win more money from every where
    and the losser is those people

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