IRAQ – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency in Iraq, welcomes the additional voluntary contribution of 13.36 million euros by the Government of the Federal Republic of Germany to provide vital humanitarian assistance and protection to vulnerable Syrian refugee families in Iraq. This latest funding brings Germany’s total contribution for displaced populations in Iraq to 21.4 million euros for 2020.
The global pandemic, coupled with the economic crisis, has significantly increased the financial constraints on many of the more than 243,000 Syrian refugees currently living in Iraq. Due to COVID-19 prevention measures, many refugees – whether employed formally or on a seasonal or daily basis – have witnessed the deterioration of their livelihoods, leaving them unable to provide for their families’ basic needs without humanitarian assistance.
This generous German contribution will help UNHCR ensure the continuity of critical life-saving protection and assistance programmes, including provision of basic services for vulnerable refugee families throughout Iraq. These services include much needed protection interventions, including legal aid, child protection services, the prevention of and response to sexual and gender-based violence, and community-based protection.
Through close coordination with, and support to the Directorates of Health in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), UNHCR also provides refugees with free access to primary health care services at camp-based primary health care centres. Additionally, UNHCR continues to assist refugees fulfil their basic needs through various cash-based interventions including seasonal support, multi-purpose cash assistance and COVID-19 cash assistance.
“We look back on a trusting and successful cooperation with UNHCR our most important humanitarian partner in Iraq for several years”, stated Germany’s Ambassador to Iraq, Dr. Ole Diehl. “Our support to UNHCR’s activities has substantially contributed to improving the living conditions of refugees, internally displaced persons, vulnerable returnees as well as of their host communities in Iraq. It remains our goal that they can benefit from the humanitarian protection and assistance they need. In these challenging times it takes a common effort and a coordinated use of all resources available to address this displacement crisis in all its dimensions.”
Nine years after the start of the conflict in Syria, Syrian refugees continue to face challenging obstacles in Iraq and elsewhere. With the current difficult and uncertain situation, displaced communities need support more than ever. Through this funding, Germany demonstrates once again that it is committed to assisting those most in need, and provides UNHCR with much needed resources to continue to deliver this assistance.
“With every passing day, the living conditions of refugee families in Iraq are becoming more challenging. This continuous, generous, and flexible contribution is truly a lifeline that will allow refugees to support their families and meet their needs with dignity,” said Philippa Candler, Acting UNHCR Representative in Iraq. “Continued support from donors like the Federal Republic of Germany remains vital for refugee families in Iraq.”