Continuing Conflicts in Middle East:
Where did the refugees go?
Student: Mary guo
Teacher: Cherie Connor
Course: ELIN001 Tri 2
The number of words: 568
Refugees are hardly a new issue in Middle East countries. As economic and political instability continue increased in this region, hundreds of thousands people are forced to leave their home every year. The figures in the table (Appendix A) illustrate the differences and similarities in the number of refugees coming from and going to in Iraq, Iran and Syria in 2009. In this year Iraq suffered from civil war, so it produced a large number of refugees and the other two countries received most of them. It indicates the relationships between these neighboring countries and the different situations they confronted.
The first significant feature between these 3 countries is the refugees coming from Iraq ranked the first place in 2009, at 1,785,212 in total, 24 times more than the number of refugees in Iran, the second one, followed by Syria, which only had 17,914 people who forced to leave Syria and became refugees.
The reason of numerous people who lost home in 2009 in Iraq is mainly because the peak of the Iraqi civil war between 2006 and 2009, which made lots of people suffer from and could not survive in their own country. According to an article from the Washington Post, about 63,500 Iraqis refugees had registered in Syria in 2009, the neighboring country, and the rest of them also flooded into Jordan and Lebanon. One thing should be noticed is for these people who affected by the instability of their own country, the most likely places they went to were not the developed countries such as US and UK, instead, they often fled into the countries nearby their own country, the developing countries. This phenomenon could be explained by their lacking of money and chances, therefore, going to the relatively safe place nearby seems to be the easiest choice.
The second notable difference is Iraq also had a large number of returned refugees while other 2 countries did not have. From the table we can see that 38,037 Iraqi refugees returned to Iraq in 2009, particularly from Syria (Babak, 2013). UNHCR found that the main reason for these refugees returning home is because the lack of resources or their visas expiry in Syria and Jordan. Another reason for these people coming back to Iraq could be explained by the conflict spreading across Syria in those years, with the lack of infrastructure and job opportunity, refugees had to return to their unstable home (Babak, 2013).
Thirdly, in terms of where refugees go to, Iran and Syria also share similarity figures, with 1,070,488 and 1,054,466 respectively. According to the World Refugee Survey 2009, Syria hosted around 1.2 million Iraq refugees while Iran hosted nearly 58,100 Iraqis.
Since Iran and Syria both are the neighboring countries around Iraq and Iran also provided temporary job opportunities to Iraqi refugees, the people suffered from the civil war in Iraq were more likely to flee to these two countries. Meanwhile, Iran also hosted a large number of refugees from other neighboring countries.
In conclusion, it is probable that the overall number of refugees in these countries will continue increase in the future. Although the number of refugees who come from and go to a country could be changed dramatically because of the frequent and unpredictable conflicts and wars occurring in this region, the political instability and economic damage will continue affect people and enlarge the number of refugees in the predicable future.
Refugee statistics 2009
Where refugees come from
Where refugees go to
Refugees pre 1000 people
Source: UNHCR refugee statistics 2009,...
References: 1 Foy H, (2010). UNHCR refugee statistics: full data. Retrieved from: http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2010/jun/15/refugee-statistics-unhcr
2 Dehghanpisheh B,(2013). Iraqi refugees in Syria feel new strains of war. Retrieved from:
3 World Refugee Survey 2009: Syria. Retrieved from:
4 World Refugee Survey 2009: Iran. Retrieved from:
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