Kurdistan Region continues to host one million refugees and asylum seekers: Official

"It is true that there is migration, but there is also a return, according to the statistics at our disposal."
Sirwe Resul, Manager of Erbil’s Office of Migration and Migrants. (Photo: K24)
Sirwe Resul, Manager of Erbil’s Office of Migration and Migrants. (Photo: K24)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Sirwe Resul, Manager of Erbil’s Office of Migration and Migrants, told Kurdistan 24 that the Kurdistan Region continues to host at least one million refugees and asylum seekers and that some Kurdish migrants who previously migrated have returned. 

“After the deterioration of the situation in Syria and the Islamic State attacks in Iraq and Syria in 2014, the Kurdistan Region opened its borders to refugees and migrants,” Resul told Kurdistan 24. 

“At that time, two million people had already fled to the Kurdistan Region. And even though it was very difficult, the Kurdistan Regional Government provided them with services.”

Today, according to Resul, at least one million refugees and asylum seekers remain in the region. Many of them haven’t returned to their former homes because they still haven't received adequate guarantees for their safety.

Resul also touched on the migration of young Kurds from the region. She said that a meeting was recently held at the Ministry of Interior to discuss this issue and that they are in contact with relevant local and international actors to work out a solution. 

“It is true that there is migration, but there is also a return, according to the statistics at our disposal,” she said. 

“In the last six months alone, more than a thousand Kurdish citizens and families who had previously left have returned to the Kurdistan Region.” 

She added that most of them returned to the Kurdistan Region after the countries they migrated to did not meet their prior expectations.