Across Iraq, millions of people are looking for safer places to live, and not finding them. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) reported last week that 4.2 million Iraqis have been forced out of their homes.
There are also ominous signs that the four-month-old US security plan for Baghdad is failing to reduce the level of violence despite an extra 17,000 US troops in the capital.
"The situation in Iraq continues to worsen," the UNHCR announced, "with more than two million Iraqis now believed to be displaced inside the country and another 2.2 million sheltering in neighbouring states."
The Iraqi refugee crisis is now surpassing in numbers anything ever seen in the Middle East, including the expulsion or flight of the Palestinians in 1948.
By Nicole Belle — June 9, 2007