An urgent appeal from BCF to the international community

 

 

The UN, international humanitarian organizations, and foreign country consulates in the KRI

 

The growing tension between Erbil and Baghdad will leave a damaging impact on the life and situation of the large refugee and IDP population in the Kurdistan Region. The increased negative impact will have equal implications for camp and out of camp residents of the two communities. Following the air blockade that has been imposed on the KRI since the end of September, coupled with restricted ground movement from and to the Region both have been imposed by the central Iraqi Government, daily humanitarian efforts to reach the massive population in-need has been slowing down and we may soon witness unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe if things continue as they are now. 

 

The KRI is hosting 1,957,788 displaced and refugee people now, of whom 1,732,239 are displaced Iraqis who have fled imminent death, instability, and destruction in their original areas in the north and central parts of Iraq. In addition, the number of Syrian refugees who have been settling in the Kurdistan Region since 2011 has reached a massive 225,552 at this time. The KRG and the people of Kurdistan, in collaboration with partner international humanitarian organizations, national and local NGOs and donor countries have been providing safety and shelter for the mentioned number of refugees and displaced people for the whole duration of their stay in the region.

 

While the protracted insecurity in other parts of Iraq, the last of which caused by the ISIS war, has already forced so many civilians to leave their war-torn areas and seek shelter in the KRI, the current tension between Erbil and Baghdad that has reached to a military standoff between the Kurdish Peshmerga and various Iraqi forces, we expect to result in unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe in Iraq and the whole region.

 

So far, the people of Kurdistan, supported by the international community, have been courageously living with the multifaceted effects of the ISIS war and the related issues. The humanitarian crisis coupled with the economic sanctions imposed by Iraq on the people and the government in the KRI since 2014, have created a massive unemployment rating at nearly 24% among the working population. However, the current unjustified sanctions imposed on the people in the KRI is significantly limiting the ability of the KRG, international humanitarian organizations and local charitable institutions in providing basic needs for the large vulnerable people at shelter camps who rely primarily on daily humanitarian assistance. In addition, if continued, the sanctions will leave the rest of them, who make their living through various economic activities inside the cities and town of KRI with limited or no resources to survive with.

 

Finally, the current political turmoil in Iraq and the related security threats coupled with the indiscriminately imposed sanctions on the Kurdistan Region are hampering the most-urgent humanitarian work essential for the survival of nearly two million displaced people and refugees residing in the Region. Therefore, we, at the BCF, as a major humanitarian NGO working with hundreds of thousands of refugees and IDPs, call on the international community, the UN, the global humanitarian community, the State of Iraq and the KRG to quickly intervene to ensure that all obstacles hampering humanitarian efforts in the Kurdistan Region are lifted.

 

Barzani Charity Foundation

Erbil, Kurdistan Region-Iraq

October 15th, 2017