The humanitarian crisis in the Kurdistan Region is undoubtedly difficult. However, the JCC is constantly working to improve the state and the lives of refugees and IDPs in the Region. In light of the new year the KRG Representation in Austria asked the JCC about the current humanitarian developments and their agenda for 2020.
In 2019 the Kurdistan Region faced another great influx of refugees. What does the current situation for refugees and IDPs look like and do people see a possibility to return to their countries and homes?
The current situation of the displaced people, both IDPs and refugees, is very bad and their future is uncertain, as the majority of services are sub-standard and highly limited due to lack of funds, especially for those who live in the camps. Considering the situation of their places of origin, in Syria and also in the liberated areas in Iraq, the required conditions for a safe return are still not met: such as security, protection, services, livelihood and economic opportunity. Therefore, they will not be encouraged to return to their homes in the near future.
What are the main challenges that the JCC will have to face this year?
There are several challenges that we will face such as responding to new emergencies, providing assistance and care for the continuously incoming IDP and refugee arrivals, and also maintain the civic services in the camps due to the ever shrinking international assistance. Many partners are already obliged to close or reduce the size of their assistance for the in-camp and out-camp IDPs and refugees. This continues to affect all services and will eventually worsen the humanitarian situation even further.
The Kurdistan Region hosts over one million refugees and IDPs within its borders. What measures could the international community take to improve the humanitarian situation in the Region?
Taking care of refugees and IDPs is a shared responsibility, the impact on the Kurdistan Region, its population and displaced people is direct and severe. lt is the cause of a ripple effect that will have long-term global consequences. The negative consequences of a displacement crisis of this scale will be generational and accumulate an impact beyond our ability to calculate and cope with. The KRG is thus shouldering a global responsibility that requires unified global action and efficient and accountable mechanisms for ensuring aid delivery. Increased international funding and a more efficient use of available resources is critically needed. lt is also a humanitarian, ethical, moral, political responsibility of the international community within the principle of equitable burden sharing.
To this end, we are launching a “Humanitarian Action Fund” to operate as an efficient and accountable mechanism for the delivery and management of humanitarian aid in the Kurdistan Region to meet the three principled objectives: Save lives, Safeguard human rights and Increase efficiency and accountability. The “Humanitarian Action Fund” will provide transparent, accountable and efficient mechanisms and procedures for directing funds to governmental and non-governmental institutions, civil society actors and other eligible partners, in order to enable a unified and well-coordinated response to the protracted crisis as well as the recent and anticipated influx of Syrian refugees.