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Syria update

July 11, 2005

UNHCR’s office in Damascus received more than 5,200 applications for refugee protection in 2004, more than a 200 percent increase from the year before. Most asylum-seekers in Syria come from Iraq, but only 2 percent of applicants to UNHCR won refugee recognition.

Yet these are just a small fraction of the Iraqis who have fled to Syria recently. The American National Public Radio (NPR) reported recently that around 500,000 Iraqis have arrived in Syria during the recent violence. They have protection neither from UNHCR nor the Syrian government.

According to NPR, some Iraqi women are turning to prostitution to survive in Damascus.

To hear the NPR report, click here.

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