ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The Kurdistan Region requires about 20 billion Iraqi dinars ($17 million) in monthly expenses to satisfy the needs of the health sector, according to a Kurdish official on Friday.
The official added the Region currently hosts millions of refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), straining the health ministry’s existing budget.
“The Ministry of Health receives six billion Iraqi dinars [five million US dollars] from the KRG’s Ministry of Finance every month,” the KRG Health Ministry’s spokesman Khalis Qadir told Kurdistan24.
The influx of displaced people to the Region has become a substantial burden on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which is suffering from a critical financial crisis.
Regarding the Iraqi federal government’s financial contribution, Qadir indicated the Health Ministry receives eight billion Iraqi dinars (about seven million US dollars) from Baghdad on a monthly basis.
“There remains a financial gap which has made us unable to respond to medical needs, including providing medicine, to a satisfactory level,” Qadir said.
The spokesman also noted the financial crisis impedes the KRG from providing full financial support to all ministries.
As the military operation to liberate the western part of Mosul carries on, the Kurdistan Region continues to receive new IDPs.
Previously, the KRG’s Interior Ministry called for immediate and direct aid from the international community to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe as most civilians fleeing Mosul lack proper shelter and medical care.
“The KRG has not only supported and hosted fleeing IDPs, but it has also provided leadership in planning the humanitarian response and advocacy for resource mobilization,” the KRG’s Interior Minister Karim Sinjari stated on Jan. 30, 2017.
The Kurdistan Region is home to almost two million refugees and IDPs who fled the threat of the Islamic State in Syria and other parts of Iraq since June 2014.
Editing by Gabrielle Renaud and Karzan Sulaivany