U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Kelly Clements visited Iraq as part of a regional trip to discuss displacement issues and assess assistance efforts for refugees and internally displaced persons in Iraq.
During her visit to Baghdad, Ms. Clements met with the Government of Iraq’s National Coordinator for Ending Displacement Dr. Farhad Hussain, Deputy Minister of Displacement and Migration Salaam a-Khafaji, Chairperson of the Council of Representatives Committee for the Displaced and Emigrants Member of Parliament Liqaa Wardi, United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General Ambassador Gyorgy Busztin, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Representative Claire Bourgeois, UNAMI Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Jacqueline Badcock, non-governmental leaders, internally displaced and Iraqi refugee returnees, and Syrian refugees.
In her meetings, Ms. Clements highlighted the $260 million in humanitarian assistance provided for displaced Iraqis in Iraq and the region by the U.S. in 2012, and noted that the United States will continue robust support for displaced Iraqis in 2013. The funds are provided to international organizations and non-governmental organization partners to provide for the basic needs of Iraqis, including livelihoods, shelter, and healthcare.
She underscored the need for Iraq to follow through on its promised $10 million contribution to UNHCR to help support refugees from the Syrian conflict. Iraq hosts 155,000 refugees, including 150,000 in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.
Ms. Clements also visited Domiz Camp for Syrian refugees in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region and made visits to vulnerable Syrian refugee families living in urban areas of Erbil. In meetings with Minister Falah Mustafa, head of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Department of Foreign Relations, Director General Kameran Abdulrahman of the KRG’s Ministry of Interior, and Erbil Governor Nawzad Hadi, she expressed appreciation for the KRG’s provision of assistance to Syrian refugees and urged the government to maintain open borders to those fleeing violence in Syria.
Ms. Clements further renewed the commitment of the United States to a stable, democratic, and unified Iraq.
(Source: Embassy of the United States)