'4.2 million Iraqis are refugees, displaced'

June 5, 2007 15:41

More than 4 million Iraqis have now been displaced by violence in the country, the UN refugee agency said Tuesday, warning that the figure will continue to rise as Iraqi authorities struggle to provide food and medical services amid the current poor security situation. The number of Iraqis who have fled the country as refugees has risen to 2.2 million, said Jennifer Pagonis, spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. A further 2 million have been driven from their homes but remain within the country, increasingly in "impoverished shanty towns," she said. Pagonis said UNHCR is receiving "disturbing reports" of regional authorities doing little to provide displaced people with food, shelter and other basic services. More than half of Iraq's 18 governates have closed their borders or are limiting the entry of displaced people.

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