Assistant Secretary Anne Richard Visits Iraq
U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne Richard visited Erbil to assess refugee assistance efforts, to which the United States has contributed nearly 70 million dollars to date.
During her three–day visit, Ms. Richard met with Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and other senior KRG officials, the governors of Erbil and Sulaimaniyah provinces, as well as representatives of international and local humanitarian organizations working on the ground. Ms. Richard also visited the Kawergowsk and Dara Shakran refugee camps and met with local officials. She spoke directly to Syrian refugee families to learn first-hand of their experiences.
In her meetings, Ms. Richard thanked the government and people of Iraq, including the Iraqi Kurdis- tan Region, for their generosity and hospitality in caring for the Syrian refugees, and for coordinating with international humanitarian agencies. Assistant Secretary Richard said, “We understand that an influx of refugees may place a strain on host communities. We applaud the spirit of tolerance and generosity from the Iraqi Kurdistan Region's residents and officials who are assisting these refugees.” She reiterated the commitment of the United States to helping Iraq as it shoulders this responsibility.
The United States is the single largest donor to the international humanitarian response to the Syria crisis, providing more than 1.3 billion dollars for food, shelter, medical care, education, clean water, and sanitation to people in Syria and the more than 2.2 million Syrian refugees in the region.