Saturday, May 31, 2008

Stuck in Syria, With No Way Home

Jonathan Finer and Jennifer Rikoski in the WaPo, here
"....Damascus is the epicenter of the Middle East's gravest humanitarian disaster since the Palestinian refugee crisis of 1948. We traveled there this spring to learn more about the plight of Iraqi refugees and the international community's tepid response. Unlike its neighbors, who have imposed strict visa requirements, Syria has done little to discourage the flow of migrants across its border and hosts an estimated 1.4 million Iraqis -- almost two-thirds of the post-invasion diaspora. With no legal status or right to work, their prospects are bleak. The wealthy and well-connected found their way to richer countries, and Syria's dysfunctional relations with the West have hamstrung efforts to provide assistance....
......The United States, which is more responsible for the burgeoning humanitarian disaster than any other nation, has pledged $208 million -- the equivalent of a rounding error in a war costing hundreds of millions a day. In 2008......."

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