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International Red Cross Helping Iraq Refugees

During the First Gulf War, more than 80,000 Iraqis fled across the border to refugee camps in Saudi Arabia, including many Iraqi soldiers. These refugees were visited in the camps and registered by representatives from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). After the war, thousands of these individuals resettled in the United States through the U.S. refugee resettlement program.

The government of Iraq established a program to provide reparations to Iraqi nationals who were forced to flee the country.

For those interested in claiming reparations, the first step in the process is obtaining a Certificate of Detention which documents their time in Saudi camps. The American Red Cross will assist Iraqi refugees in the US who are seeking this documentation. You must complete all questions on a form including your complete name in English and Arabic, your mother’s name in English and Arabic, and provide a copy of your old Iraqi ID (such as an Iraqi passport) if available. The American Red Cross will then submit completed forms to the ICRC. Inquirers should be advised that American Red Cross can not predict when replies will be received from the ICRC.

Please contact your local American Red Cross office or International Services at the American Red Cross at the address below for additional information and to complete the form. There is no charge for this service.

  • American Red Cross
  • Central and Western Oklahoma Region
  • 601 NE 6th Street
  • Oklahoma City, OK 73104
  • (405) 228-9500
  • Additional Referral Resource

    The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is also able to search their records and provide documentation for Iraqi refugees who fled to Saudi Arabia and resided in Rafha Refugee Camp. Inquirers must apply to UNHCR on their own by sending an email to the UNHCR Baghdad office: Inquirers should provide their complete name and copies of their Iraqi ID (Iraqi Civil ID, passport, Nationality certificate, or residence card).