Oil com­pa­nies pledge $15 mil­lion dol­lars so far to help Syr­ian refugees in Kur­dis­tan

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

A press re­lease is­sued by the Min­istry of Nat­u­ral Re­sources on April 29th claims that oil com­pa­nies op­er­at­ing in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion have so far do­nated $15 mil­lion to­wards hu­man­i­tar­ian aid for the hun­dreds of thou­sands of Syr­ian refugees. Be­low is the press re­lease pub­lished on the min­istry’s web­site.

A press re­lease is­sued by the Min­istry of Nat­u­ral Re­sources on April 29th claims that oil com­pa­nies op­er­at­ing in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion have so far do­nated $15 mil­lion to­wards hu­man­i­tar­ian aid for the hun­dreds of thou­sands of Syr­ian refugees. Be­low is the press re­lease pub­lished on the min­istry’s web­site.

Oil com­pa­nies op­er­at­ing in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion have so far do­nated $15 mil­lion dol­lars to­wards hu­man­i­tar­ian aid for refugees from the war in Syria, through an ini­tia­tive launched by the KRG Min­istry of Nat­u­ral Re­sources. Thou­sands of Syr­ian refugees who have fled to the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion have re­ceived help through the do­na­tions.

The oil pro­duc­tion and ser­vices com­pa­nies have pro­vided funds to hu­man­i­tar­ian NGOs, to en­sure the best and most ef­fi­cient use of their do­na­tions. In addi- tion to the oil com­pa­nies’ do­na­tions, the Min­istry of Nat­u­ral Re­sources it­self spent $10 mil­lion dol­lars on as­sis­tance to the Syr­ian refugees in 2013, as shown on page 30 of the 2013 fi­nan­cial re­port.

The min­istry’s Kur­dis­tan Oil and Gas Hu­man­i­tar­ian Ini­tia­tive (KOGHI) has been backed by the UN High Com­mis­sion for Refugees (UNHCR) since its launch in Septem­ber 2013. Mr Em­manuel Gignac, the UNHCR Co­or­di­na­tor for the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, said, “We greatly ap­pre­ci­ate the ini­tia­tive of the Min­istry of Nat­u­ral Re­sources to team up with the oil sec­tor in the Kur­dis­tan re­gion to sup­port the hun­dreds of thou­sands of Syr­ian refugees. This as­sis­tance is cru­cial, es­pe­cially in light of the fact that these people have been forced to flee their homes and their coun­try. Many of them have lost al- most ev­ery­thing and cross into Iraq with lit­tle or no be­long­ings. There­fore this ini­tia­tive by the Min­istry to­gether with the oil sec­tor will go a long way to­wards en­sur­ing that these Syr­ian refugees are pro­vided with much needed help. We hope very much sim­i­lar ini­tia­tives can be re­peated in the fu­ture as the Syr­ian cri­sis is un­for­tu­nately ex­pected to con­tinue and Syr­ian refugees will keep on ar­riv­ing.”

The donors in­clude To­tal, Chevron, Western Za­gros Gulf Key­stone, Hess, Genel En­ergy, Kar Group, Taqa, Marathon, and Oil Search. Ser­vices com­pa­nies have also con­trib­uted, such as En­sign En­ergy Ser­vices and OAGSG.

An­glo-Turk­ish com­pany Genel En­ergy do­nated to the in­ter­na­tional char­ity Save the Chil­dren. Kieran King of Save the Chil­dren Iraq said, “Syr­ian chil­dren’s fu­tures are threat- ened as they are de­prived of an ed­u­ca­tion and fall be­hind their peers. The part­ner­ship with Genel En­ergy and their gen­er­ous do­na­tion of will en­able Save the Chil­dren to bet­ter sup­port refugee chil­dren, pro­vid­ing shel­ter and safe ar­eas in which they can play, learn and be­gin to re­cover from the trauma they have ex­pe­ri­enced flee­ing their homes.”

With a do­na­tion from Chevron, Save the Chil­dren pro­vided win­ter cloth­ing for over 8,000 chil­dren, cre­ated safe child friendly spa­ces, and it will build four play­grounds in three camps in Er­bil.

Hess Cor­po­ra­tion pro­vided funds to the In­ter­na­tional Res­cue Com­mit­tee (IRC) to fund five ini­tia­tives that were crit­i­cally im­por­tant to ex­tremely vul­ner­a­ble refugees par­tic­u­larly women, the el­derly, chil­dren, and youth. The do­na­tion also helped the IRC to build and equip the first sec­ondary school in­side Domiz camp. To­tal joined ef­forts with the French Red Cross to carry out es­sen­tial emer­gency san­i­ta­tion work in Domiz, the largest refugee camp.

Gulf Key­stone Petroleum pledged to do­nate funds based on each bar­rel pro­duced from 1 Septem­ber 2013 for a pe­riod of one year, to as­sist the KRG in the hu­man­i­tar­ian re­lief ef­fort. KOGHI was launched in Septem­ber 2013 by Nat­u­ral Re­sources Min­is­ter Dr Ashti Hawrami, at a meet­ing with the oil and gas com­pa­nies. Min­is­ter Hawrami has set a goal of rais­ing $50 mil­lion dol­lars from the oil in­dus­try. In ad­di­tion to the funds al­ready com­mit­ted by the KRG, the govern­ment will match “dol­lar for dol­lar” any con­tri­bu­tions from the oil sec­tor. There are close to 215,000 reg­is­tered Syr- ian refugees in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion.

Western Za­gros tar­geted the most vul­ner­a­ble with its do­na­tion to Mercy Corps, which selected 39 fam­i­lies with many chil­dren and fe­male-headed house­holds to re­ceive pack­ages of win­ter es­sen­tials and health prod­ucts.

Not only pro­duc­tion and ex­plo­ration com­pa­nies but also oil ser­vices firms have put their ef­forts be­hind KOGHI. With a do­na­tion from En­sign In­ter­na­tional En­ergy Ser­vices, the Nor­we­gian Refugee Coun­cil pro­vided win­ter cloth­ing and items to 1,000 women in the camps. Oil and Gas Man­age­ment Ser­vices Group has helped the char­ity Rise Foun­da­tion to carry out its work by pro­vid­ing its staff with ac­com­mo­da­tion, the use of a van, and ad­min­is­tra­tive sup­port.

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