Past eventResearch Event

Creating Protection Space: Iraqi Refugees in Jordan

3 July 2009 - 9:00am to 10:00am

Chatham House, London


Imran Riza, UNHCR country representative for Jordan



Iraq's displaced are the world's largest group of urban refugees, and the largest refugee crisis the Middle East has witnessed since 1948.

The humanitarian situation of Iraqi refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) is of great concern to UNHCR. The presence of an estimated 500,000 Iraqi refugees in Jordan imposes a heavy burden on the economy and social structure of the country, which is also host to a significant number of Palestinian refugees. The speaker will argue that Jordan needs more robust solidarity from the international community to enable it to cope with the situation.

Imran Riza currently serves as representative of UNHCR to Jordan, where he oversees a large and high-profile operation of maintaining protection space and providing safety nets for Iraqi refugees. Mr Riza's career with the United Nations has involved managing refugee operations in Africa, South-East Asia, East Asia and the Middle East for UNHCR; as well as assignments with the World Food Programme and the UN Political Mission in Lebanon.