ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Region Nechirvan Barzani on Monday met with the advisor at the Saudi Royal Court and Supervisor General of the King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Rabeeh in Erbil.
In the meeting, Rabeeh stated his visit to Erbil was at the request of King Salman indicating Iraq and the Kurdistan Region were important for the King, according to the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) press office.
He said the aim of his visit was related to the possible opening of the King Salman Center in Erbil to provide humanitarian aid to refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) fleeing from the Islamic State (IS).
Moreover, Rabeeh praised the co-existence of different ethnic and religious groups in the Kurdistan Region.
Barzani pointed to the factors leading to the financial crisis in the Region such as the federal budget cut in 2014 by Baghdad, the emergence of IS, arrival of thousands of refugees and IDPs to Kurdistan, and the international drop of oil prices.
According to the Prime Minister, the financial crisis led to the halt of almost 3,500 projects in Kurdistan, adding he hoped the KRG could benefit from the loans provided by Saudi Arabia to other countries.
Moreover, Barzani explained the cost of the IDPs and refugees on the Kurdistan Region was over USD $1.4 billion a year, and the federal government had not done much in helping the KRG.
The Prime Minister asked the King’s Center to launch in the Region so the KRG could send them a report consisting of a list of needs and basic aid required for IDPs and refugees.
At the end of the meeting, Rabeeh gave a medal on behalf of the King Salman Center to Prime Minister Barzani.
Kurdistan is home to over 1.8 million refugees and IDPs who fled from the threat of IS.
The IDPs and refugees make up 35 percent of the Kurdistan Region’s total population, according to Barzani.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany