PM Barzani warns of more refugees and IDPs

Erbil, Kurdistan Region, Iraq (cabinet.gov.krd) – Kurdistan Region Prime Minister, Nechirvan Barzani, yesterday received the United Nations Under-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mr. Stephen O’Brien, and his accompanying delegation.

Mr. O’Brien briefed the Prime Minister on his visit to Baghdad where he visited camps of internally displaced persons, IDPs. He said he will also visit IDP and refugee camps in the Kurdistan Region.

Mr. O’Brien thanked the Kurdistan Regional Government, KRG, for the assistance it has been offering to displaced people. He described the relations between the United Nations agencies and KRG as positive and effective.

He said that the United Nations’ 2015 plan for assisting displaced people is soliciting over $1.5 billion from donor countries.  He said, however, few countries so far offered assistance, except Kuwait that announced it will donate $200 million.

Mr. O’Brien noted that within the framework of the 2016 plan the Kurdistan Region will be dealt with separately as it disproportionately needs more assistance than other areas of Iraq.

Prime Minister Barzani said that due to the arrival of a high number of displaced people, particularly since the Islamic State terrorist organisation captured Mosul last June, the population of the Region has increased by 28 percent and continues to increase. Though all IDPs are Iraqi citizens, he noted the Iraqi government does not help to accommodate them and provide assistance to meet their needs in areas under KRG control.  This has put an enormous burden on the Kurdistan Region.

Prime Minister Barzani called on the international community to assume its responsibilities as the Kurdistan Region accommodates and provides assistance to a very high number of refugees and IDPs, while at the same time it conducts a war against terrorism on behalf of the entire world.

He warned that due to ongoing war in Syria and Iraq, the Kurdistan Region could face additional waves of refugees and IDPs.

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