Iraqi Kurdistan: IDPs Now Number 2 Million
With the arrival of over 14,000 refugees in Erbil within the last month [May 2015], officials of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) have announced that 2 million people are now in refuge in the region. This latest upsurge was a consequence of fighting in the Anbar province. Although the doors remain open to IDPs, the KRG are bearing the brunt of supporting the refugees, as the Iraqi government has not taken any responsibility in building camps and providing services to IDPs.
Below is an article by the Kurdish Globe:
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) officials have announced that 2 million people are now seeking refuge in the region, as civilians from eastern Iraqi province of Anbar continue to flee Islamic State (IS) advances in the area.
Communication Director for the Erbil Governorate, Hamza Hamid, says that within the last month, over 14,000 refugees and displaced people have arrived in Erbil.
“They are mostly living in rented houses as we don’t have the capacity to build refugee camps for the Anbar IDPs.”
KRG Manager for Refugee Affairs Dindar Zebari explained that the KRG is experiencing an economic crisis and is not able to manage the huge wave of displaced.
Zabari says their doors are still open for Anbar IDPs, and they have never closed their doors, “but we have said that we cannot build camps and deliver the required services and assistance to the IDPs, and hence Baghdad has to take this responsibility.”
“The KRG has received about 2 million refugees and displaced people so far.”
Commenting on the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) request to house Anbar IDPs, Zebari said, “It is beyond the KRG’s reach to financially manage the refugees if the Iraqi Federal Government continues to cut Erbil’s share of the budget.
“The UN has failed to convince the Iraqi Central Government to solve the issues between Erbil and Baghdad,” added Zebari.
“The international community cannot help the IDPs and the central government does not assume responsibility, which is a big issue.”
Last week the Iraqi government announced that any civilian from Anbar Province who wishes to go to the Kurdistan Region, will be transported directly to Erbil for free.