Since the outbreak of the Syria crisis in 2011 and the overran of ISIL in Iraq in June 2014, as well as the counter offensives and operations by the Peshmerga forces and Iraqi security forces to retake areas under ISIS control, millions of people have been displaced and they left everything behind and entirely depend on the humanitarian assistance. The Kurdistan Regional Government has opened its doors towards the displaced people and the people of Kurdistan have been extremely generous in welcoming and receiving Internally Displaced People (IDP) and Syrian Refugees. Currently, the KRG is the host of 40% of all Iraqi IDPs and 97% of the Syrian refugees in Iraq. Since the Crisis, over 1.8 million displaced people arrived in KRI and majority live with the host communities.
The total number of the registered IDPs and refugees in KRI are over 1.5 million individuals; 82% of the IDPs are living with host communities and the rest 18% are living in 38 camps in the three governorates, while 40% of the refugees are living in 9 camps and the rest 60% are residing with the host communities. Currently the Kurdistan Region is the host of (1,334,211 IDPs) and (228,567) refugees. Due to the constant security escalation across Iraq and the continued military operations to retake the areas under ISIS, people continue to be displaced and they are taking very dangerous routes to reach safety. Since 17th October 2016, the start of the military operations to retake the Mosul City, over 400,000 people has been displaced and over 167,000 arrived in Kurdistan Region.
Furthermore, it is estimated that around 400,000 civilians still live under harsh conditions in the areas remained under ISIS control. They all are expected to flee once safe corridor is established. The current security developments, the level of destruction of the public and private properties and civic infrastructures in the liberated areas, as well as the lack of funding and clear strategy do not seem encouraging at all for the IDPs and refugees to go back to their homes in the near future. Therefore, there is an immediate need to focus on the resilience of the IDPs, refugees and host communities. The strategy needs to be shifted from providing emergency and lifesaving assistance to long term focus on supporting critical service sectors by bridging the humanitarian response to the resilience.
Additionally, there is an immediate need to integrating humanitarian funding with the national resources to enable the societal functions running for the entire population; inclusive IDPs and refugees. For this purpose, the critical societal sectors have been identified and the priority projects have been selected to support and increase the resilience of the IDPs, refugees and host communities. The sectors and priority projects have been identified and selected by the provincial administrations, in the governorates of Erbil, Slemani and Duhok with the technical support provided by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Iraq. These projects are the most needed ones to be supported across each governorate. Finally, KRG has played a critical humanitarian role to support the displaced persons and is still committed to continue playing its part in extending a helping hand to provide safe and secure environment to all IDPs and refugees in Kurdistan Region, but to continue doing so, KRG should be supported financially and technically not only to provide support to IDPs and refugees, but also to cooperate, facilitate and coordinate the projects and activities of all the local and international partners who are here to support the displaced people.
For read more on the JCC report number 10, click here.