Recognising the role played by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in hosting refugees in Kurdistan and internally displaced people from the conflict in Syria, Samantha Power, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations, on Tuesday, announced that the country will pledge $17 million to projects for refugees in Kurdistan in 2015.
“In Iraq, the KRG in Iraqi Kurdistan hosts 96% of Syrian refugees in the country, and has provided more than 2,000 square miles of land for the establishment of 11 camp and transit sites,” the US State Department said in a statement on Tuesday.
Projects for Refugees in Kurdistan
“This new funding will be used to repair health centers, expand schools, and improve water sanitation systems in the community. Other funding will go toward initiatives targeting women and girls, to provide vocational and language training, general literacy training and reproductive health.”
The money will go towards projects run by several NGOs and international organisations, including the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UN World Food Program (WFP), and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
Appeal from the UN
The UN has appealed for $8.4 billion for Syria this year to help deal with the mounting humanitarian crisis. It seeks to help 18 million people inside Syria and those scattered throughout the region by a brutal civil conflict among multiple armed forces.
“Today, the international community stepped forward in an unprecedented show of solidarity to ease their plight,” UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said at a press conference at the end of the meeting.
“With these resources, humanitarian agencies and their partners will be able to reach more people inside the country. These pledges will also help neighboring countries overcome the strain of hosting refugees, a strain that has taken a heavy toll on infrastructure and economies.”[Read more at Rudaw]