ERBIL, (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) appealed to the United Nations and the international community on Thursday to help Syrian refugees and other displaced people currently hosted by the region.
The Joint Crisis Coordination Centre (JCC) in a statement released on the KRG website stated that the Syrian civil war has caused millions of people to seek safety in neighboring countries, including nearly a quarter million now within Kurdistan's borders.
“Approximately 250,000 Syrian refugees fled to the Kurdistan Region and have remained under the protection of the KRG ever since,” said the statement, adding that 37 percent of them are residing in nine refugee camps in the provinces of Erbil, Duhok, and Sulaimani, with the rest being hosted within local communities.
According to recent figures, the Kurdistan Region is home to 1.4 million IDPs and refugees, with 97% of the Syrian refugees now in Iraq and 40% of the internally displaced Iraqis in the region, the JCC said.
The statement warns that without increased funding to help refugees, the KRG and its national and international partners will not be able to make crucial services and assistance available to the refugee population.
“Lack of funding is increasingly forcing the humanitarian partners to reduce the scale and quality of their programs and they are today compelled to suspend many important projects that were planned for 2018,” the JCC cautioned.
The statement called upon the donor countries, UN agencies, and international NGOs "to pay attention to the Syrian refugees in our region and to invest in the sustainable and rights-based model that we have adopted."
Editing by John J. Catherine