“The international community is evading its responsibility towards refugees from Iraq by promoting a false picture of the security situation in Iraq, where the country is neither safe nor suitable for return…… Governments have done little or nothing to help Iraqi refugees, failing in their moral, political and legal duty to share responsibility for them….”
- Rhetoric and Reality: The Iraqi Refugee Crisis, Amnesty International Report, June 15, 2008
The Iraqi Refugee Project is A Coalition of Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace, Women Against War, and Women’s
Please join us
Thursday, April 5, 7:00 PM
Columbia University Professor George Saliba to talk on “The Impact of Arabic/Islamic Science on Modern Medicine and Pharmacology” at the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Student Center Room 202, 106 41 Union Drive, Albany.
Free and Open to the Public
Learn more: Press release | Poster
Association for Family Affairs
The US war on Iraq has resulted in:
- 2.7 million Internally Displaced Persons within Iraq
- 2 million Iraqi Refugees have fled to Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, Arab Emirates
- 82% of Internally Displaced Persons are women and children (under age 12)
- Iraqi refugees and Internally Displaced Persons needs include housing, food, fuel, clean water, health care, education, jobs, safety from death threats, kidnapping, torture and violence of war.
US governmental response:
In 2008 human rights agencies, led by Refugees International, requested that the US provide $1.35 billion a year to support the Iraqis who have fled to Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates. US Department of State reports that during Fiscal Year 2008, US contributions totaled $398.27 million.
The US resettled 13,823 Iraqi refugees for fiscal year 2008 (10/1/07 – 9/30/08) and has a goal of resettling 17,000 in 2009. (In comparison the US resettled 131,000 Vietnamese refugees in 7 months in 1975)
Congress hasn’t done much to aid Iraqi refugees. Bills introduced to help Iraqi refugees haven’t gone anywhere except in 2008 the Kennedy Smith amendment created 5,000 visas for Iraqi translators and others who worked for the US who are receiving death threats or worse.
Capital District Activities
In 2008 Bethlehem Neighbors for Peace (BNP), Women Against War (WAW), and the Women’s Association for Family Affairs (WAFA) formed the Iraqi Refugee Project (IRP) a coalition to address the Iraqi refugee crisis. About 250 Iraqi refugees have been resettled in the Capital District. The coalition works to help provide a network of support for them in cooperation with local agencies. Union College is participating in the Iraqi Student Project by underwriting an Iraqi student to attend the college who started in September 2008. Their website is: www.vu.union.edu/~isp/ (also, click here for a recent update).
How You Can Help
1. Volunteer your time and expertise. Join IRP in providing support for local Iraqi refugees. You can help with job searches, transportation, English tutoring or managing daily problems like phone bills, medical appointments. For information contact Susan Davies at 518-392-9477 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Make a donation to the Iraqi Refugee Project Fund to support Iraqi refugees resettling in the Capital District. We help newly arriving families prepare for the Albany winter by taking them shopping for winter gear. We are creating welcome baskets to give to each newly arriving family in conjunction with a home cooked meal made by an established Iraqi family. Checks for tax deductible donations can be made out to the Social Justice Center, memo line: “Iraqi Refugee Project.” Mail to Iraqi Refugee Project, c/o Social Justice Center, 33 Central Ave., Albany, NY 12210
3. Invite us to come speak to your group, congregation or organization about the Iraqi refugee experience. It is important for us to educate our community about this situation and share real life stories. At the same time we can provide communities with ways they can make a real difference in Iraqi refugee lives. Call Susan Davies at 518-392-9477 to find out more.
4. Support the local Iraqi Student Project by:
- Donating to a Union College restricted account on behalf of its Iraqi Student. Checks are payable to Union College – in the memo line write “Restricted to account #45841”. Send donations to Records, Attention: Kathleen D. McCann, Union College, Schenectady, NY 12308. or donate on line at www.union.edu/Alumni. All donations are tax deductible.
- Becoming part of the community support network for the Union College student. or convincing a local college to support an Iraqi refugee student with a tuition waiver, room and board. Contact Carole Ferraro for more information: 518-463-0095 or email@example.com.
5. Advocate for more US support for Iraqi refugees and displaced persons. Sign our petition on line at www.womenagainstwar.org. Contact your Congressional representatives and urge them to co-sponsor HR578 and to sponsor additional legislation supporting Iraqi refugees and displaced persons with humanitarian aid, increased quotas for US resettlement, and a humane, well-funded resettlement process.
For more information on the Iraqi Refugee Crisis go to:
Education for Peace in Iraq Center
Hard Way Home
Human Rights First
Iraq Red Crescent
International Rescue Committee
The List Project
United Nations High Commission for Refugees
for the Capital District
USCRI (United State Committee for Refugees and Immigrants)
991 Broadway, #223 , Albany, NY 12204
40 N. Main Av., Albany, NY 12203
Check the new IRP Blog: iraqirefugeeproject.blogspot.com