With no let-up to the war in Syria, UN, humanitarian and development agencies in Iraq have appealed for $298 million in ongoing assistance for nearly 250,000 Syrian refugees in Iraq.
The appeal was made at the launch of the Iraq chapter of the Syria Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP) in Erbil today, attended by H.E. Dr. Ali Sindi, Minister of Planning, Kurdistan Regional Government. Also in attendance were Minister Falah Mustafa, head of the department of Foreign Relations, KRG, as well as key government and humanitarian agencies, and donors assisting refugees in Iraq.
The Kurdistan Region in Iraq hosts 97% of the Syrian refugees, as well as more than one million Iraqis displaced due to conflict.
The response plan for Iraq is committed to continue providing continued protection and assistance to Syrian refugees, to meet their basic needs. It also recognizes the need to increase the resilience of refugees as well as host communities and calls for a greater investment in education and increased opportunities for vocational training and livelihoods.
In opening remarks, Dr. Sindi said that efforts by his government to host the refugees should be more widely acknowledged and supported by the international community. “97% of the total number of Syrian refugees is in Iraqi Kurdistan- this is something that the people of Kurdistan need to be acknowledged for and encouraged to continue to do.”
He said the financial crisis facing his government, prompted by a fall in oil prices, was putting the authorities under greater pressure. “All organisations need to consider that the financial crisis has led the host community to face very great challenges. The appeal for $300 m for Syrian refugees does not cover the real needs of those people”