Monday, July 30, 2007

Syria caring for refugees

Just another piece of fallout from our shrub's Iraq debacle:

DAMASCUS, 30 July 2007 (IRIN) - Syria's minister of health said providing free
medical care to the over 1.5 million Iraqi refugees in Syria is costing the country around US$60 million a year, a burden he criticised the international community for failing to take responsibility for.

"It was the duty of the international community to take the initiative long before now to stop the suffering of our Iraqi brothers," said Maher Housami, speaking on 30 July at the end of a two-day conference in Damascus organised by the World Health
Organization (WHO) to address the health crisis among Iraqi refugees' displaced
by the four-year-old US-led invasion.

The WHO conference, attended by the health ministers of Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt, as well as WHO and UN officials, met to discuss Iraqi refugees' access to health care in Syria and the need to formulate a plan to counter the strain being placed on the national health system.

Housami expressed his disappointment that the USA had not provided countries in the region, particularly Syria and Jordan - who between them currently shelter an estimated 2.25 million Iraqi refugees - with greater financial support.

The Syrian government provides Iraqi refugees with free education and health care, but the massive influx of people - estimated at around 40,000 per month - means hospitals and clinics are often too overcrowded to treat refugees.

Given that our shrub has been demonizing Syria for years, I doubt that we're going to help them out. This administration doesn't give a shit about the humanitarian needs in the Middle East.

I wonder how much we're spending to take care of the 133 Iraqi refugees that have come to America this year.

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