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 Jolie praises Jordan’s hospitality, generosity in hosting Iraqis

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PostSubject: Jolie praises Jordan’s hospitality, generosity in hosting Iraqis   Sun Jul 26, 2009 9:09 pm

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Jolie praises Jordan’s hospitality, generosity in hosting Iraqis

By Taylor Luck

AMMAN - United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie on Friday praised the Kingdom for its hospitality in hosting Iraqis displaced by conflict.

In a press statement, Jolie, who on Thursday toured Baghdad to highlight the plight of some 1.6 million internally displaced persons within Iraq, remarked on the improvements made in the Kingdom, praising Jordan for shouldering "a large burden" in providing assistance to Iraqi guests.

"There are hundreds of thousands of refugees from Iraq now living in Jordan and Syria. In line with historic traditions of generosity and hospitality, both countries have received and hosted refugees since their creation," she said during her stay in Amman, where she was briefed by UNHCR officials of ongoing efforts in the Kingdom to provide services for displaced Iraqis.

While in Amman, Jolie recognised the contribution of Jordan and Syria in allowing Iraqis access to public education and healthcare services, urging the international community not to take this contribution for granted.

"These countries have seen dramatically improved access to public education and healthcare in the past three years," she said in the statement e-mailed to The Jordan Times by the refugee agency.

Jolie added she was impressed by the "humane manner" in which the Kingdom provided protection for Iraqi guests, allowing them access to public services and facilitating the work of concerned national and international NGOs.

During her two-day regional visit, Jolie was based in the Kingdom, where she highlighted the need for continued support for those most affected by conflict.

"This is a moment where things are improving on the ground, but Iraqis need a lot of support and help to rebuild their lives. You cannot go home if you have nothing to return to," she said during her visit to Baghdad on Thursday.

Thursday's visit marked Jolie's third trip to Iraq, according to the UNHCR.

In August 2007, she visited 1,200 refugees trapped in Al Waleed camp near the Syrian border. She also visited Iraq independently in February last year, when she highlighted the problems faced by the internally displaced and urged action to help them, according to the UNHCR.

Some 500,000 Iraqis reside in Jordan, the vast majority of whom are classified as "guests". Although they are afforded public healthcare and education, they are not entitled to work in Jordan. Around 52,184 Iraqis are recognised as refugees and are registered with the agency.

Approximately 6,629 have been selected for resettlement since the beginning of the year, up from 5,781 last year, according to figures recently released by the agency.

The majority, some 4,770, are slated to be resettled in the US, while 633 are to be resettled in Germany, 471 in the UK, 289 in Sweden, 273 in Canada and 114 in Australia.

A total of 2,889 displaced Iraqis have been resettled from Jordan to third party countries since January 2009, according to the UNHCR.

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PostSubject: Re: Jolie praises Jordan’s hospitality, generosity in hosting Iraqis   Mon Jul 27, 2009 6:21 pm

thanks flower
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