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Needs of Children Must Stay at Forefront as World Addresses Iraqi Refugee Crisis


World Vision launches new report at United Nations conference; continues response in Jordan

Washington, DC, April 23, 2007 --(PR.com)-- World Vision welcomed government pledges made at last week’s United Nations conference on the Iraqi refugee crisis, but stressed the need for a long-term commitment to meeting the escalating humanitarian needs—especially the needs of children. Some 2 million Iraqis have fled to neighboring countries, and lack of access to education, medical and psychological care, jobs and household necessities has left children especially vulnerable.

“We’re encouraged by the financial support pledged for host countries and increased resettlement opportunities offered for the most vulnerable refugees,” said Ashley Clements, a World Vision advocacy specialist and author of a new report launched in Geneva last week. “But with as many as 50,000 more Iraqis fleeing their country every month, we need an equally urgent response.”

Delegates at the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees conference in Geneva welcomed World Vision’s report, Trapped! Unlocking the future of Iraqi refugee children, which called for funding for educational, medical and psychological care for children and increased admissions to third countries, particularly for families with children.

“Now it’s up to the concerned public and aid community to hold our governments accountable for the promises they made last week,” said Clements. “The educational, medical and psychological needs of these children won’t be met overnight. We need to ensure an effective and sustained response to this crisis.”

Post-conference, World Vision will continue pressing for more action and awareness around the world on behalf of Iraqi refugee children. The Christian relief and development organization is working with local partners in Jordan to provide some 20,000 refugees with food, health care, vocational training and special programs for children who cannot attend school. World Vision hopes to expand its response as funding is secured. Donations can be made by calling 1.888.56.CHILD or visiting www.worldvision.org.

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Notes to Editors:
· The Trapped! report and video clips of children’s stories are at www.iraqichildrentrapped.org.
· World Vision has served vulnerable and impoverished families in the Middle East for three decades, and operates in Lebanon, Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. The agency has been working in Jordan through local partners since 2003.
· For outcomes from the UNHCR conference, visit www.unhcr.org.

World Vision staff are available for interviews. Please contact Rachel Wolff at 253.815.2072, 253.394.2214 or rwolff@worldvision.org.

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. Visit www.worldvision.org/press.
Contact Information
World Vision
Rachel Wolff
253.815.2072
Contact
www.worldvision.org/press
cell: 253.394.2214

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