For the two million Iraqi refugees who have taken temporary shelter throughout the Middle East, daily life is often a battle against poverty and despair. Holding a job is often against the law, access to education and medical care are limited, and the future is uncertain. IRAP is dedicated to helping those in great danger or great need reach hope and safety in the west. Yet, for the vast majority of Iraqi refugees, the only sustainable solution is eventual return to a safe and secure Iraq.
Unfortunately, the time when Iraqis can safely return to their homes has not yet arrived. A recent UN poll indicates that most Iraqi refugees who have risked returning to their home country now wish they had remained in exile. Danger, poverty and a lack of basic services remain grim facts of life in Iraq. For now, it seems, even the crushing poverty and hopelessness of life in a Damascus slum is better for Iraqi families than returning to their homes.
IRAP looks forward to the day when all Iraqis can return home if they wish. Clearly, however, that day has not yet arrived. As long as millions of Iraqis continue to take shelter abroad, the international community must not forget its responsibilities.