October 3, 2015

KRG delegation highlights Kurdistani issues in New York

New York, USA (dfr.gov.krd) – A Kurdistan Regional Government delegation was in New York this week during the United Nations 70th General Assembly to highlight the ongoing fight against ISIS and the humanitarian and economic challenges facing Kurdistan.

2b-1400__2015_10_01_h10m13s6__NB The delegation was led by Minister Falah Mustafa Bakir, Head of the Department of Foreign Relations. The KRG’s Representative to the United States, Bayan Sami Abdul Rahman, accompanied the minister, along with Assistant Head of the DFR Siham Mamand and Advisor at the DFR Rawand Darwesh.

They met ministers and senior officials of various countries, representatives of the UN, the media and other organisations to update them on recent developments and to urge them to support the UN’s call for more funds to help the displaced people who fled ISIS and are sheltering in Kurdistan and other parts of Iraq. The Kurdistan Region is sheltering 1.8million displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees. This, combined with the fall in oil prices and the costly war against ISIS, are impacting services to the host and refugee communities and hampering Kurdistan’s vibrant economy.

The delegation also called for an investigation into the horrific events of last year in which the Yezidis and other minorities were targeted by ISIS terrorists in what amounts to genocide.

Minister Bakir spoke at a high level meeting at the UN urging friendly nations to do more to support Kurdistan with the humanitarian crisis.

Minister Bakir told the meeting, ‘We support the efforts of the United Nation and the international NGOs working with us but indeed we need to do more in order to provide food, shelter and education in order to give them (the displaced) hope, otherwise this will be very difficult for us to cope with,” he said.

The KRG Minister made this intervention at a special UN session that focused on the humanitarian situation and its broader impact on Iraq. Leading the event, Sarah Sewall, US Undersecretary of State for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights, outlined the threat to the displaced because the UN has struggled to raise the funds needed to continue its humanitarian programmes in Kurdistan and the rest of Iraq.

As she appealed to the international community to fund the UN’s programmes, Ms Sewall announced that the United States will contribute an additional $56m in humanitarian assistance for Iraq, bringing the US’s total contribution to Iraq, including Kurdistan, to $540m since start of fiscal 2014.

Several speakers praised the government of Iraq, the KRG and the people of Kurdistan for their compassion towards the displaced population. Iraq’s Minister for Displacement and Migration Jasim Al-Jaf. Made a keynote speech at the which was attended by the representatives of several international organisations as well as diplomats.

See the original press release at dfr.gov.krd here.
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