PM Barzani: stu­dents’ re­turn to school is our pri­or­ity

KRG Min­is­ter Nechir­van Barzani, Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Qubad Tal­a­bani and se­nior KRG of­fi­cials vis­ited Duhok last week in or­der to ex­am­ine and follow up the sit­u­a­tion of fam­i­lies dis­placed from Sin­jar, the Nin­eveh plains and sur­round­ing ar­eas cur­rently she

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

In the meet­ing, KRG of­fi­cials were pro­vided with de­tails of the lo­ca­tions cur­rently ac­com­mo­dat­ing ap­prox­i­mately 900,000 in­ter­nally dis­placed peo­ple. The dis­placed in­clude a va­ri­ety of eth­nic­i­ties and re­li­gious mi­nori­ties in­clud­ing Yezidis, Chris­tians, Kakayis, Turk­men, Sun­nis, and Shiaa. They have been shel­tered in dis­tricts through­out the Duhok prov­ince. In some towns, the num­ber of dis­placed peo­ple ex­ceeds the num­ber of lo­cal res­i­dents. The KRG pro­vides the dis­placed with food, drink and ne­ces­si­ties on daily ba­sis.

The re­port high­lighted the im­por­tance of build­ing con­struc­tion camps as quickly as pos­si­ble in or­der to ac­com­mo­date the dis­placed cur­rently shel­tered in schools. Be­cause of the refugees, stu­dents have not been able to start their study­ing year yet.

The Kur­dish PM said that one of his pri­or­i­ties is to make at­tempts to en­able stu­dents re­turn to their schools as soon as pos­si­ble.

"Iraq’s gov­ern­ment must 'in­ter­vene im­me­di­ately' to aid hun­dreds of thou­sands of war refugees who have set­tled in the au­ton­o­mous Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, Kur­dish Prime Min­is­ter Nechir­van Barzani de­manded.

Mean­while, he said that KRG is ready to re­solve the out­stand­ing is­sues with the new gov­ern­ment of Prime Min­is­ter Hei­dar al-Abadi in Bagh­dad, within a con­sti­tu­tional frame­work.

"We want Bagh­dad to get in­volved more and we ask the (Iraqi) Prime Min­is­ter to visit Duhok to see the mag­ni­tude of this hu­man­i­tar­ian catas­tro­phe,” Barzani said at a news con­fer­ence. “We also ask the Iraqi Pres­i­dent, Mr. Fuad Maa­sum, to visit and closely get in­formed of the sit­u­a­tion."

"The KRG has in­formed Abadi that there are more than 800,000 dis­placed peo­ple in the prov­ince of Do­huk, which is not able to pro­vide aid to all. The Iraqi gov­ern­ment must in­ter­vene im­me­di­ately to as­sist the IDP,” he said.

"There are ap­prox­i­mately 31,000 stu­dents among the refugees in the prov­ince of Do­huk, and schools must be built in each camp," Barzani added, urg­ing refugee teach­ers in the camps to serve their peo­ple and help dis­placed stu­dents con­tinue their stud­ies.

Barzani also touched upon the out­stand­ing dif­fer­ences be­tween his gov­ern­ment and Bagh­dad which have been run­ning deep since last year, when Bagh­dad froze the 17 per- cent of the Iraqi bud­get that is ear­marked for the KRG.

The row has been over di­rect Kur­dish oil ex­ports through Turkey, which Bagh­dad la­bels as “il­le­gal.” Barzani said that the rev­enues from oil ex­ports do not equal the 17 per­cent share of the bud­get that the KRG usu­ally re­ceives.

Barzani reaf­firmed that the KRG is ready to in­form Bagh­dad of the de­tails of oil ex­ports.

Re­fer­ring to the Pesh­merga’s fight with Is­lamic State forces, Barzani said that their forces are try­ing to clear the ar­eas that fell to the IS last month and fa­cil­i­tate the re­turn of refugees to their homes.

Prime Min­is­ter Barzani and del­e­ga­tion at refugee camp con­struc­tion site

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