Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, August 13, 2007

Middle class Iraqis struggle to make ends meet in Jordan

To escape the war, upper and middle class Iraqis have streamed into Jordan, but they have been met with economic hardship there, according to The New York Times.

“The binding section of the population does not exist anymore,” said Ayad Allawi, a former prime minister, who now spends most of his time in Jordan. “The middle class has left Iraq.”

This socioeconomic group, consisting of former business owners and bankers, among others, has been pouring into Jordan and Syria since 2005 and 2006. Most of the refugees have had to rely on their own wealth to survive, as many lack residency status and are barred from employment.

Middle class Iraqis are now floundering under the high rent and cost of education for their children; most admit they can no longer afford life’s basic necessities.

The economic suffering of Iraqis living in Jordan will ultimately affect Iraq itself – “the poorer they grow and the longer they stay away, the more crippled Iraq becomes,” the article notes.

Despite the rapid influx, Jordanian authorities have been accommodating – welcoming doctors into hospitals and allowing most Iraqis to live without residency permits.

Still, the large numbers have taken a toll on the small country, recently leading authorities to reduce the number of Iraqis allowed entry.

The U.S. has pledged to increase the number of Iraqi refugees it accepts; 9,100 have already been referred by the United Nations this year. So far only 200 have arrived, with several hundred more expected in the coming weeks.

For the full article, click here.


Post a Comment

<< Home