14 ottobre 2019
First group of Syrian refugees arrive in Kurdistan Region
Some 180 Syrian refugees arrived to the Kurdistan Region’s Zakho District on Monday, crossing the Fishkhabour border in the Duhok governorate.
The Joint Crisis Coordination Centre (JCC) announced the arrival of the refugees as they registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) before being transferred to the Domiz refugee camp in Duhok by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The refugees had escaped from Syria to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq through the land route, making them the first group of Syrian refugees from the anticipated mass influx of people expected to hit the Kurdistan Region.
Hoshang Mohammed, the Director General of the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) JCC, told Kurdistan 24 “We expect more than a quarter-million refugees in the worst-case scenario. This will add an additional burden on the already depleted services and capacities” of the KRG.
The current number of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the Kurdistan Region is 1,041,000 individuals, living either inside camps or in host communities and informal settlements. Out of that number, 229,000 of them are Syrian refugees who left their homes to escape the country’s protracted civil war or the brutal rule of the Islamic State.
Ankara’s offensive on the Kurdish-majority northern regions of Syria has so far resulted in the deaths of 45 Kurdish fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), killed or wounded scores of civilians, and has reportedly already displaced over 210,000 people.
According to the JCC report, the daily expenditure of IDPs and refugees has reached USD 3.8 million, which the KRG, along with 189 international and local organizations, have to allocate, putting a financial burden on the Kurdish Region’s recovering economy.
Editing by Nadia Riva