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|2007 Annual Report||2.08 MB|
Throughout 2007, Refugees International continued to focus on some of the world’s largest, most intractable displacement crises—Burma, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, and Sudan—and our interventions brought results.
Last year, the US government increased its aid to displaced Iraqis nearly five-fold to $197 million. In addition, the US announced a goal to resettle 12,000 Iraqi refugees, up from 1,608 the previous year. Congress also passed a law enabling thousands more Iraqis to enter the US on special immigrant visas. RI, in coordination with other agencies, worked hard to secure these changes. But the US response remains small compared to the size of the problem; some five million Iraqis comprising 20% of the population have been displaced. Jordan, which hosts more than 500,000 Iraqi refugees, says the new population is costing it about $1 billion a year. The US, Iraqi and international response to Iraqi displacement remains inadequate, but we have helped put the problem on the map and started forcing solutions.
For years RI has been campaigning to get a larger, more capable peacekeeping force into the Darfur region of Sudan. The UN approved such a force in July, and since then RI has been working to have the US contribution live up to President Bush’s call for a peacekeeping force that can provide better protection to civilians in Darfur. At the same time RI continued to highlight the needs in south Sudan, where a 2005 peace agreement is under increasing strain.
RI also continues to make progress on the issue of statelessness. Several years ago few people even recognized that 15 million people live without citizenship, meaning that they can’t vote, get travel documents or, in many cases, work or send their children to school. Now that the US and the UN acknowledge the problem, some countries are acting to give citizenship to formerly stateless residents.
Despite these actions and achievements, there is much more to do. With your help, we are increasing the intensity and effectiveness of our work. Thank you for your continuing support. It helps us make a difference.
Chairman of the Board
Kenneth H. Bacon
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