Ann from TLP here with some noteworthy news and topics to keep an eye on…
Allegations of Corruption Cripples the Iraqi Red Crescent Organization: A recent article in the Washington Post focuses on the allegations of embezzlement and mismanagement against the Iraqi Red Crescent. The organization oversees the largest humanitarian operation in Iraq, employs thousands and has an annual budget of $60 million (much of which is funded by the Government of Iraq).
Refugees and IDPs: Although long overdue, recent news from the U.S. regarding the 2009 goal of admitting 17,000 Iraqi refugees for resettlement is welcomed. While TLP is please that more refugees are going to be resettled, we wonder why the 1500 on our list haven’t made it. As Kirk points out, “After all, the goal was never to get an arbitrary increase in the number of general Iraqis admitted, but rather to get a targeted resettlement of those who have risked their lives to help the U.S.”
Repatriation: The DOD issued a report last week that states that states that the security environment in Iraq is improving; however, these trends are “fragile, reversible, and uneven”. Even under such conditions, according to IRIN, the Iraqi embassy in Jordan is organizing the repatriation of dozens of willing Iraqi families. NGOs and UN agencies continue to advise against repatriation, mainly because of the unstable security situation in the country. According to the Iraqi ambassador, this is the first official repatriation since the US-led invasion in 2003. The Iraqis returning, according to IRIN, have been offered financial incentives and have been told that they will be able to get any property seized (since 2003) back.