News: Front page WSJ — “5 Years Later, a Nation of Refugees”

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The Wall Street Journal ran a front page story on Monday about the Iraqi refugee crisis. Accompanying the story was an excellent interactive map showing where the refugees are distributed throughout the region and the world. The article begins as many others do on the subject:

BAGHDAD — Five years ago, Enas Abood exulted over Saddam Hussein’s overthrow from her comfortable three-story home. Her husband found a job with the U.S. military and started bringing home a handsome paycheck, along with American candy for their son. “We started to see a light at the end of tunnel,” says Ms. Abood. “But this light did not last for long.” As the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion approaches this Wednesday, she and her three children live in a shabby rental in a Baghdad slum. Ms. Abood often goes hungry to feed her kids and survives on handouts. Her husband, unhappy and unemployed, took off two months ago. She hasn’t seen him since… far more common still is Ms. Abood’s journey from middle-class prosperity to transient poverty… An estimated four million Iraqis — over 14% of the country’s population — have been displaced inside Iraq or to neighboring countries, largely due to the chaotic aftermath of the American-led invasion that began on March 19, 2003.

Prior to the invasion, about one million Iraqis were internally displaced by conflicts and by policies of Saddam Hussein to move certain ethnic groups. But aid agencies say more than two million citizens are now displaced inside the country, largely because of sectarian violence — infighting between the Sunni and Shia Muslim sects — or fighting between insurgents and U.S. troops. About 60% of the displaced are children.

You can see that map feature by clicking here. It really is a must-see and a very useful tool.


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