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Iraq and UN Limit Funding Refugee Camps in Kurdistan: JCC

The Iraqi government and United Nations’ agencies have limited their fundings for the refugees and IDPs in Kurdistan Region camps, said Hoshang Mohammed, head of Kurdistan Joint Crisis Coordination Center (JCC).

“There are more than 1 million IDPs and refugees in Kurdistan Region, including 744,000 people displaced from other provinces of Iraq, and 264,000 refugees from Syria, Iran, Turkey, and Palestine,” Mohammed told BasNews.

“The Iraqi government and the United Nations used to well assist these refugees and IDPs in the past, but they have decreased their fundings since the spread of the new coronavirus.”

According to Mohammed, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is now funding over 70% of the expenses to run the camps, which has devastated the government in Erbil as it already struggles with a severe financial crisis due to the falling oil prices, COVID-19 outbreak, and the disputes with Baghdad over budget.

Mohammed also explained that the Iraqi IDPs are reluctant to return to their hometowns as they fear the insatiable security situation, lack of public services, and unemployment at home.

Last week on the World Refugee Day, Prime Minister Masrour Barzani said his government “will continue care for the 1.1 million refugees and IDPs” taking refuge in Kurdistan.

“We remind the world however that international assistance remains essential to their safe return home,” he said in a brief statement.