Iraqi Kurdistan says it needs $250m to deal with mounting influx of IDPs from Mosul

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Iraqi refugees, who fled from the violence in Mosul, use containers to collect water during sunset inside the Khazer refugee camp on the outskirts of Erbil. File photo: Reuters

ARA News

Erbil – The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) says it needs over $250 million to deal with the influx of refugees and IDPs from Mosul and Syria.

“Currently, the KRG is the host of 40% of all IDPs [Internally Displaced Persons] and 97% of the Syrian refugees in Iraq,” the KRG said in a statement obtained by ARA News.

Since March 2016, with the start of the military operations to retake the south-eastern areas of Mosul, over 40,000 people have been displaced and arrived in Makhmour and Debaga in the Kurdistan Region. The KRG has reportedly provided required civic services and humanitarian assistance to the IDPs and refugees inside and outside camps.

“Furthermore, since the start of the battle for Mosul, over 9000 people have arrived in the Kurdistan Region, and it is expected that with the advancement of the forces, the number of IDPs will dramatically increase to one million,” the KRG said.

The KRG also said there has been limited humanitarian funding directed through the UN-Agencies and INGOs. “However, the assistance remained very moderate compared to enormous needs of the people and the scale of the humanitarian crisis,” the KRG said.

According to the Kurdish government the influx of the IDPs and refugees has pushed the KRG’s capacity into its optimum limits that it is extremely difficult to continue providing civic services for the entire population inclusive of IDPs and refugees.

“While the focus has now been shifted and preparation is underway for the new waves of displacement as a consequence of the battle for Mosul, without continued humanitarian assistance and immediate increase of the funding, the IDPs and refugees will be exposed to sever hardship conditions and their situation will likely be further worsened,” the Kurdish government said.

Also, the KRG Ministry of Health is dealing with a financial crisis while it gives free health services without discrimination. “However, it faces challenges to adequately provide health services to meet the needs of the entire population due to prevailing financial difficulties. The Ministry owes millions of dollar to suppliers and companies and the payment has been overdue for months hampering procurement of essential drugs and other medical supplies,” the KRG said.

The Kurdistan Regional Government further called upon the Iraqi central government, international organisations, NGOs and charities to contribute to alleviate the current humanitarian catastrophe facing the Region, saying it needs at least $248,735,055 for services for IDPs, refugees and host communities in all sectors.

According to the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR, over 20,000 people have been displaced since the start of the military offensive to retake Mosul on 17 October.

Currently UNHCR has five camps ready to receive people displaced from Mosul and surrounding towns and villages. Hasansham camp in Erbil Governorate is already hosting over 2,000 people while Zelikan camp in Dohuk is now home to 2,325 people. Debaga camp, also in Erbil governorate, continues to receive 10-15 new families a day.

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