Jordan and the Syrian Arab Republic are the countries
with the largest groups of Iraqi refugees and Palestinian
refugees (under UNRWA’s mandate) on their territories.
The social infrastructure and economies of the two
countries have been strained to breaking point as they
cope with the massive displacement from Iraq without
adequate help from the international community. As a
consequence, both Jordan and Syria have introduced
visa restrictions for Iraqis.
By September 2007, the number of internally displaced
Iraqis was estimated at more than 2.2 million, with over
a million of the total having been displaced since
February 2006. The current rate of displacement is some
40,000 to 60,000 persons per month. The humanitarian
situation inside Iraq is dire and continues to deteriorate.
It is estimated that some two million Iraqis have sought
refuge in neighbouring countries, mainly in Syria
(1.2 -1.4 million) and Jordan (500,000 - 750,000),
but also in Lebanon, Egypt and further afield. In
addition, there are more than 41,000 non-Iraqi refugees
inside Iraq who have been equally affected by the
violence and the deteriorating humanitarian situation.
Palestinians, who comprise around 15,000 of the total
refugee population in Iraq, have been particularly hard hit.