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8 million people in need of aid

As if the war in Iraq wasn't itself bad enough, what has befallen those who have fled the country is now causing a monumental humanitarian crisis for those both in and outside the country.

Monsters and Critics reports:

"The number of Iraqis in urgent need of humanitarian assistance is estimated at 8 million, including 2 million refugees and 2 million internally displaced persons, a special conference highlighting the growing crisis was told Tuesday.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a video address to delegates gathered in Geneva appealed to Iraq's neighbours, specifically Jordan and Syria, to keep their borders open as they struggled to cope with the refugee burden.

Ban also called on the international community to provide greater assistance: 'All of us must recognise this is a global responsibility with international repercussions.' He added: 'Only a secure, politically stable and economically prosperous Iraq can reverse the tide of displacement.'

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, which organized the conference to rally international support, estimates between 40,000 and 50,000 people are fleeing their homes every month in the face of escalating sectarian violence."

The question to be asked here is what the Coalition of the Willing - who caused all this mayhem and human tragedy - are going to do to at least alleviate this ongoing human suffering. One suspects there will be soothing platitudes and pronouncements made, but practical help will come to little.

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