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  Tuesday, February 12, 2008  


EPIC and NGOs say Don't Forget Iraqi Refugees

[Sept. 12] The Education for Peace in Iraq Center (EPIC) joins 26 humanitarian organizations in declaring that unless the U.S. Government and the international community move fast to address the already grave Iraqi displacement crisis, Iraqi civilians will be at even greater risk, with serious consequences for the entire region. While Iraq and neighboring countries face the worst humanitarian crisis in Iraq's history, including the displacement of more than 4 million people, U.S. and international assistance remains woefully inadequate. The groups call on the Administration to develop immediate and long-term plans to tackle the humanitarian disaster and aid the millions of desperate people uprooted by the violence in Iraq. "It will significantly reduce the likelihood of regional instability. Iraq cannot be stable in an unstable region," the organizations say. The groups also welcome Ambassador Crocker's concern for Iraqis who are in danger as a result of their affiliation with the United States and urge a more robust U.S. resettlement program for the most vulnerable Iraqis. Read the full statement.

Take the Next Steps to Help Iraqi Refugees!

'I'm dying in the desert' - A Palestinian Iraqi refugee, in a camp on the Syrian border, holds up a sign she made herself. [UNHCR photo 7/25/07]

[July 26] On June 14th, when we began building support for Congressman Blumenauer's Responsibility to Iraqi Refugees Act (H.R. 2265), only 14 representatives had signed on. EPIC hand-delivered more than 2,300 constituent letters to Congress, and now the bill has 49 cosponsors. Our efforts have had an impact, but we must work together to keep the pressure up. Please check the list of cosponsors for H.R. 2265, and if your representative has not signed on, find out what you can do to help the 4 million innocent Iraqi civillians displaced by violence.

Helping Those Who Helped Us:
Part 2 of EPIC's Interview with Kirk Johnson

Kirk Johnson

[July 3] Hundreds of Iraqis have risked their lives to help the U.S. rebuild their country. But when they ask the U.S. for help, do their cries fall on deaf ears? In Part 2 of our Ground Truth Project interview, Kirk Johnson -- a former USAID employee -- shares harrowing stories about his former Iraqi colleagues. These brave men and women faced extreme danger while working with the U.S. to rebuild their country, and now endure incredible hardship as refugees. But despite their service to our country, the U.S. has done little to help them. Kirk is a passionate advocate for America's responsibility to protect his Iraqi friends and others facing in danger because of their affiliation with the U.S. Read more about Kirk’s work to protect our Iraqi allies in Part 2 of our conversation.

EPIC Takes Your Message to Congress

EPIC Staff and Volunteers deliver more than 2,000 constituent letters to Congress. Pictured here, left to right, are Chris Breuer, EPIC intern; Julia Stutz, EPIC volunteer; Emily Stivers, Advocacy and Research Fellow; and Geoff Schaefer, EPIC intern.

[June 28] Armed with well over 2,000 letters from concerned citizens like you, EPIC staff and volunteers stormed more than 300 House offices and 94 Senate offices with a call to Congress to assist and protect Iraqi refugees. For two days, we met with Foreign Affairs specialists in nearly every congressional office we visited, telling them about the 2 million Iraqi refugees and 2 million internally displaced who need our help now. We would like to thank the thousands of EPIC members who made our efforts possible -- by taking action and supporting our initiative with generous contributions. If you haven't yet added your voice to our effort, we are planning another House and Senate visit in the next few weeks, so take action today! Read more about our visit to Congress at the EPIC blog.

TAKE ACTION for World Refugee Day

Iraqi refugees face an uncertain future. Be their voice for change. Take action now!

[June 20] Today is World Refugee Day. To help displaced Iraqis fearing persecution, EPIC supporters have generated more than 1,000 letters urging Congress to do more to respond to the region's worst refugee crisis in 60 years. In nearly every way, the U.S. is falling short in coming to the aid of Iraq's displaced. As a result, more than 4 million Iraqi refugees and interally displaced persons face an uncertain future. You can help restore their hope by taking action today on World Refugee Day. Right now, the Senate and House are considering legislation that will provide desperately-needed relief and assistance to the millions displaced by violence. Check out our blog to learn more about these bills. Be sure to visit our Action Center right now to personalize your letter to Congress. We will hand-deliver your letters later this week!

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Copyright (c) 2008 Education for Peace in Iraq Center