Syrian Kurdish refugees arriving in Kurdistan Region surpass 20,000: KRG
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The influx of refugees from northern Syria into the Kurdistan Region continues to increase, with over 20,000 arrivals since the start of October, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Joint Crisis Coordination Center (JCC) said on Friday.
In a post on Twitter, the JCC said 27 Syrian Kurdish refugees had just arrived through the Sehela border crossing, taking the total number of arrivals from Syria to 20,011 people.
According to the latest official numbers of the JCC, there are a total of 242,944 Syrian refugees currently living in the autonomous Kurdish region.
The KRG says that it needs close to $1 billion annually to sustain aid to over one million refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) living in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) who fled their homes to escape violence and instability.
The current camps in the Kurdistan Region were built as a rapid response to the crisis of refugees and displaced persons that followed the sudden rise of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in 2014.
Hoshang Mohammed, Director-General of the JCC, told Kurdistan 24 that the impact on the Kurdistan Region, its population, and displaced people had been direct and severe.
“The negative consequences of a displacement crisis of this scale will be generational and have a cumulative impact beyond our ability to calculate and cope with,” he stated.
Mohammed said the KRG’s lack of access to international financial institutions, including the opportunity to secure loans and funds, has had a direct effect on the refugee crisis.
“In the face of such restrictions, the KRG is not able to secure the required resources to address the challenges of a protracted displacement, while responding to new emergencies and waves of displacement, including the new influx of Syrian refugees and the continued arrivals of the IDPs from areas once under ISIS [control],” he explained.
“Increased international funding and more efficient use of available resources are critically needed.”
Editing by Laurie Mylroie