Vatican City, May 3, 2007 / 08:02 am
Archbishop Silvano M. Tomasi C.S., delivered a talk during an international conference called by the U.N. High Commission for Refugees to consider the humanitarian needs of refugees and internally displaced persons within Iraq and neighboring States.
In his English-language talk, the text of which was made public today, Archbishop Tomasi pointed out that there are around two million internally- displaced Iraqis, while "two million others have already fled the country and between 40,000 and 50,000 are fleeing their homes each month."
"Where war and violence have destroyed the social tissue and the unity of Iraq, judicious political choices and a non-discriminatory humanitarian engagement would be the first step to re-establish a pluralistic unity."
"Displaced women, elderly and children bear the brunt of the tragedy," said the nuncio. "With the experience of daily violence and, even more tragically, with the killing of family members before their eyes, many children are traumatized and remain without professional care."