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February 10, 2010
Worldfocus Radio: Iraqi Refugee Crisis

A U.S. soldier and 3 children in the Mashtal area of East Baghdad. Photo: USArmy on Flickr

Almost 7 years after the start of the U.S.-led war in Iraq, the international community still struggles to help the 2 million refugees and almost 3 million internally displaced persons who have not been able to return home.

Under the U.S. Refugee Admission Program, 19,000 Iraqis were offered sanctuary and resettled in 2009 alone. Yet, critics allege that these refugees have not been afforded decent opportunities in their new home — and that resettling thousands may be just a drop in the bucket.

To explore the Iraqi refugee crisis in more depth, Martin Savidge hosts Aidan Goldsmith and Sawsan Al-Sayyab. The show addresses:

  • Post-Invasion situation: refugee numbers, host countries, and NGOs
  • Humanitarian progress: social challenges, educational uplift, and extremism
  • Big picture/U.S.: future displacement, sectarian strife, and policy change


Aidan Goldsmith is the country director for the International Rescue Committee in Baghdad, Iraq. Originally from Australia, he previously worked for the IRC in Nepal.

Sawsan Al-Sayyab is an Iraqi refugee who spent two years in Jordan before arriving in Baltimore, MD, in 2008. She is currently an advocate for the International Rescue Committee.

Host: Martin Savidge
Producer: Ben Piven
Researcher: Cari Machet


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