Senior U.S. official arrives in Erbil to inspect Syrian refugee camps
U.S. senior official and several high-ranking KRG officials visited Erbil’s Kourkosk camp for Syrian refugees on Saturday, December 14. The KRG officials confirm that it has not yet received the necessary funds to help the refugees.
Anne Richard, the assistance of U.S Secretary of State for Population and Refugees Affairs, said she visited the camp in order to be informed of the current situation of the Syrian refugees.
She stated that she talked with the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) officials how to support and help the management of the camp to conduct its affairs.
Richard said that the reason of her visit is to see how the UN distributed the humanitarian aids as well as what the refugees need at the moment.
The KRG has thus far built seven permanent camps in addition to several mobile camps. KRG deputy foreign relations official, Dindar ZebariZebari, pointed out that the government has not yet received the necessary funds to support the refugees. He further stated that the Region needs funds very urgently.
The KRG a few days ago announced that it has so far allocated more than $70 million from its own budget to accommodate the refugees across the Kurdistan.
Zebari attended a meeting at the headquarters of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR in Geneva in Switzerland to talk about the crisis and consequences of the Syrian displacement in Kurdistan and neighboring countries.
The meeting was attended by Mohammed Sabir, Permanent Representative of the Government of Iraq to the United Nations in Geneva, and the ambassador of Syrian as well as Egypt.
At the meeting Zebari called on the international community to help and support the refugees in Kurdistan, adding that they need urgent humanitarian aid as winter has started.
The KRG officials have not been yet invited to attend the Geneva 2 meeting, however, it embraces 97 percent of the refugees in Iraq as confirmed by Zebari.
According to the recent statistics, the number of the Syrian refugees who have taken shelter in Kurdistan is in the region of 230, 000.
There are four refugee camps in Erbil, capital of the federal Kurdistan Region of Iraq, like Kourkosk, Dara Shakran, Baserma and Gosh Tapa. Around 50, 000 Syrian refugees, mostly Kurds, are living in the camps.