March 1, 2016

KRG’s Minister Sindi addresses World Bank Fragility Forum

Washington, DC, USA (us.gov.krd) – Kurdistan Regional Government Minister of Planning Dr Ali Sindi spoke at the first day of the World Bank Fragility Forum 2016 in Washington, DC, on the impact of the war against ISIS and the humanitarian crisis in the Kurdistan Region.

The forum brings together leaders, governments, aid agencies, civil society and private sector representatives working to provide humanitarian support around the world. The three-day event looks at the development agenda at a time of instability and conflict in many parts of the world, including Iraq and Syria.

Dr Sindi spoke in the first high level panel after the opening of the conference, titled ‘Strengthening the Global Response to Forced Displacement.’

He outlined the unique position of the Kurdistan Region in handling its humanitarian crisis. He said, ‘Kurdistan is the only place that is in war and peace at the same time. This is a war of more than 1,000 km with ISIS that Peshmerga are handling. And at the same time, Kurdistan is giving a safe, secure place for displaced people from all religious, ethnic, and other groups of the society – Muslims, Yezidis, Christians – everyone is seeking safety in Kurdistan.’ He explained the economic and social impact of the war and the influx of 1.8million Syrian refugees and displaced Iraqis into Kurdistan, which has been exacerbated by the fall in oil prices.

Dr Sindi urged the World Bank, United Nations, European Union and other multilateral institutions to look for humanitarian and development solutions that fit the context of the crisis and not vice versa. He also called for a new mechanism to help solve the question of economic support to regions and countries hit by such catastrophes.

Dr Sindi was speaking on a panel alongside Kyle Peters, Senior Vice President of Operations at The World Bank, Princess Sarah Zeid of Jordan, Deng Majok-gutatur Chol, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan, Mohamed Omer Arteh Ghalib, Deputy Prime Minister of Somalia, Amara Konneh, Minister of Finance of Liberia, Thomas Staal, Acting Assistant Administrator at USAID, and Elizabeth Ferris, Senior Adviser to the UN General Assembly’s Global Summit on Refugees and Migrants.

In addition to participating in the panel, Dr Sindi met with several World Bank officials while accompanied by Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, the KRG Representative to the United States. He updated them on developments in Kurdistan and Iraq.

Dr Sindi said that a joint World Bank – KRG Ministry of Planning study last year determined that displaced people in Kurdistan would require $1,000 in aid per capita, per year. He urged the World Bank and others to find ways to support the building of 500 schools in Kurdistan which would help both the host community and the displaced. Almost 60 percent of displaced children in Kurdistan are not in school, he said.

The Fragility Forum was opened by remarks from Jim Yong Kim, President of The World Bank Group, Catherine Samba-Panza, President of the Central African Republic, Jan Eliasson Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Nancy Lindborg, President of the United States Institute for Peace, and Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer for the World Bank.

The Forum continues until March 3.
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