Kurdistan continues to host nearly 1 million IDPs and refugees: JCC

The majority of IDPs and refugees reside alongside host communities within the region, only 30% living in 36 designated camps.
Families wait for food distribution at the Hasansham camp for internally displaced persons, Kurdistan Region, Iraq Dec. 10, 2020 (Photo by Florent Vergnes/AFP)
Families wait for food distribution at the Hasansham camp for internally displaced persons, Kurdistan Region, Iraq Dec. 10, 2020 (Photo by Florent Vergnes/AFP)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region remains a refuge for hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees, with a staggering 928,649 individuals seeking shelter, the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Joint Crisis Coordination Center (JCC) reported on Friday.

This includes 664,224 IDPs, and 246,810 Syrian, 7,860 Turkish, 8,241 Iranian, 615 Palestinian refugees, and 899 refugees from other countries.

The majority of IDPs and refugees reside alongside host communities within the region, with only 30% living in 36 designated camps, while the remaining 70% have settled outside of these camps. Geographically, 41% of the total displaced population reside in Erbil, 40% in Duhok, and 19% in Sulaymaniyah.

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Recently, Srwa Rasul was appointed as the Director General of the KRG’s Joint Crisis Coordination Center (JCC) on May 8.

According to the Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement, there are 26 refugee camps in the Kurdistan Region.

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The KRG’s Minister of Interior, Reber Ahmed, earlier this month said that despite Iraq’s “enormous budget,” Baghdad has not fulfilled its duties with regard to refugees and IDPs.

He reiterated the KRG’s support for a voluntary return of all displaced populations, nearly one million IDPs and refugees in the Kurdistan Region, and commitment not to close down any camps as long as there are vulnerable people who need protection.

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The Iraqi government since Oct. 2020 has implemented a policy to close down IDP camps. In April, the Iraqi government closed down the Jeddah 5 IDP in the Ninewa Governorate, leading to criticism by the UN.

The Iraqi minister of migration and displacement has recently accused the KRG of using the refugees and IDPs for political purposes, a charge the KRG vehemently denies.