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Primeminister Barzani speaks at KRG-World Bank conference on Refugees and IDP

Primeminister Barzani speaks at KRG-World Bank conference on Refugees and IDP

In a conference held in Erbil to discuss the results of a joint programme conducted by Kurdistan Regional Government and World Bank on the impact of internally displaced people on the Kurdistan Region’s economy and society, Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani stressed the urgent need for additional assistance to address the crisis.

Following, some passages of Prime Minister Barzani’s speech:

“The impact of the Syria crisis has directly affected the Kurdistan Region. A significant number of Syrian refugees sought safe haven in our Region. Taking into consideration the international principles of human rights, we opened our doors and provided them with refuge and humanitarian assistance.”

“The sudden attacks by Daesh terrorists against the Kurdistan Region with advanced weapons captured from Iraqi army plunged the Kurdistan Region into an unwanted war. The Peshmerga forces performed their duty faithfully and continue to defend the security and dignity of the people of our Region along a frontline of more than one thousand kilometer long.”

“The presence of close to two million refugees and IDPs has changed the demography of the Kurdistan Region; the population of the Region increased by 28 percent in 2014. The crisis has placed a huge burden on the KRG, particularly in the areas of education, health services, housing, and employment.”

“The existence of such a large number of refugees and IDPs is causing a negative impact on the daily life of our people. Major impacts include price inflation of basic commodities and high unemployment. The people and the government of the Kurdistan Region are under significant pressures.”

“I call upon the current Iraqi Federal Government to take the humanitarian crisis caused by IDPs and refugees seriously and to make it a national priority. From a legal point of view, the onus of responsibility first lies with the federal government. I also urge the federal government to make concerted efforts to obtain international recognition of the crimes committed against Yezidi Kurds as acts of genocide and to play an effective role in the protection of our Christian brothers and sisters.”

“In the midst of the current challenges we remain committed to efforts that enhance democracy and political stability, and to defend universal human rights, peaceful coexistence, and religious tolerance.”