About 160,000 Iraqis from outside the mountainous Kurdish north have moved there to flee a growing civil war, according to a draft of a report by an international group that tracks refugees and displaced people.
That number is the first comprehensive figure for internal flight to Iraqi Kurdistan that has been released by any organization. It is also far higher than partial estimates previously disclosed by Kurdish officials.
The draft report, by Refugees International, which is based in Washington, says the Iraqis who have fled north face harsh living conditions. Inflation is rampant, and outsiders have few decent job opportunities.
The above is from Edward Wong's "Thousands of Iraqis Who Flee to Kurdish Region to Escape War Face Harsh Living Conditions" in this morning's New York Times. The first thing to note is what gets covered and what doesn't. The paper never covered MADRE's report, never covered Minority Rights Group International's report (which does differ from some of the things in Refugees International's report -- or else some corners are being taken quickly in the report on the report), never covered Chatham House's report. In terms of the article, MADRE and MRGI
both address the realities for the displaced internally. Might there be different realities for women? Yeah. There's nothing in the article that suggest RI grasps that. They're a popular group these days (part of the Carrie Nations Brigade) and possibly that's why they get covered as opposed to the organizations mentioned above or the Red Cross/Crescent which has actually issued a plea for help for the displaced some time ago.
There's nothing new, from the article's telling of the report, and nothing that hasn't been pointed out by other organization's already. It also presents a rosy view on what's actually happening in the area supposedly welcome to Christians -- apparently the two researchers missed all the flags going up in that area or what the flags actually mean (the same thing they mean when a flag gets planeted anywhere: "I claim this land for . . ."). Wong also includes the 'news' that Baghdad's now backing up the Pentagon's claim that children were used in a bombing -- apparently the new Jessica Lynch myth.
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