Uprooted Iraqis move into “atrocious” camps: UN
ICC Note: Many of the refugees fleeing Iraq are Christians fleeing from Muslim demands that Christians convert, pay extra taxes or give their daughters to Jihadists.
6/17/07 Iraq (Reuters) – People fleeing violence in Iraq have begun to move into atrocious makeshift camps on the fringes of cities such as Najaf, the United Nations refugee agency said on Friday.
Andrew Harper, coordinator of the UNHCR’s Iraq Support Unit, said the sites were a result of certain governorates sealing off their regions to newcomers.
“Camps are one of the worst things you can have, because you are not going to have proper provision of water … of sewage, of shelter, of security,” he said. “They are atrocious.”
At one site near the holy Shi’ite city of Najaf , hosting 200 families, people were drinking from a polluted water source and many women were urinating and defecating inside their huts because they were afraid of being attacked outside, he said.
Without improved access to food and other emergency aid, Harper said such people would be extremely susceptible to diseases such as typhoid and cholera, particularly in summer.
“The more vulnerable are likely to die,” he said.
Some 4 million Iraqis have left their homes since U.S.-led forces invaded Baghdad in 2003, toppling Saddam Hussein and unleashing deep sectarian tensions .