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Angelina Jolie: Kurdistan ‘model for humanitarian assistance’ for hosting, supporting IDPs

This article originally appeared in Kurdistan 24.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie expressed her gratitude to the Kurdistan Region and its people for hosting and supporting displaced persons and said she would encourage more international support for Kurdistan.

Before her visit to the Domiz refugee camp in Duhok on Sunday, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Special Envoy thanked the people of Kurdistan for its care of nearly two million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

According to a readout of her meeting with Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) Spokesperson Safin Dizayee on Saturday, Jolie said she would “continue to convey the plight of the displaced people to the attention of the international community to encourage more support to the Kurdistan Region.”

She also described Kurdistan as “a model for this kind of humanitarian assistance,” adding the Region “has played a very good role in supporting these vulnerable [displaced] people.”

Since the emergence of the so-called Islamic State (IS), Kurdistan has provided a haven for people fleeing the extremist group from parts of Iraq and neighboring Syria.

According to KRG statistics, the Kurdistan Region is currently hosting 1.4 million IDPs and refugees.

The massive influx of displaced persons has caused a burden for the Region which has called for international support to help deal with the crisis, a point Dizayee emphasized to the UNHCR Special Envoy and her accompanying delegation.

The KRG Spokesperson, on behalf of Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani, invited Jolie and her delegation to continue its visits to Kurdistan “to closely see the situation of the [IDPs] and Syrian refugees in the Kurdistan Region.”

The UNHCR and the KRG agreed “to find creative initiatives beyond material support” to aid the displaced people until conditions are met for them to return to their homes “voluntarily with respect and dignity.”

Jolie’s trip to Erbil comes after she visited war-torn Mosul on Saturday to meet with displaced families and discuss efforts to rebuild the city and provide needs for its returning population.

This article was originally published in Kurdistan 24.

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