Majority of displaced Syrians prefer to
live in Iraq's Kurdistan Region
June 4, 2012
AMSTERDAM, — More displaced Syrians,
mostly Kurds, are waiting at the border to allow
them to cross into the Kurdistan region in Iraq,
amid signs about escalating violence in most parts
The news was detailed in the latest report by the
United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR),
published in US newspaper International Business
The report pointed out that the authorities in the
Kurdistan Region are getting ready to receive more
refugees. Most of the displaced Syrians seek asylum
in the region, after the UNHCR registered, in
cooperation with the Ministry of Displacement and
Migration in Iraq, a significant increase in the
number of refugees.
The report read: "The displacement of tens of
thousands of people to Kurdistan is a significant
turning point for the political, geographic and
economic equation that governs the region.
"This region [Kurdistan], which was a point of
dispute over the decades between the Kurds and the
central authorities in Baghdad, has become today an
ideal resort not only for the displaced from Syria,
but also for the fleeing Kurds from Iran and
Economic researcher and academic Saad al-Jabbouri,
who resides in the Netherlands, said: "The
commission believes that the Kurdistan Region, if
compared to other countries that receive refugees
like Jordan, which is suffering from scarcity of
resources, can host the displaced persons under
security, economic stability and prosperity. It's
the preference of the majority of displaced people,
especially the Kurds, to resort to [the region]."
Kurdistan seems to be the best choice for the UNHCR
to receive more displaced people if the region's
authorities approve the move. This is in light of
the complaints about a country like Jordan and its
inability to receive more refugees because of the
scarcity of resources,www.ekurd.net
such as water. Every displaced person needs about 80
liters of water per day, which is a financial burden
Displaced Kurd Saif al-Din Salah, who arrived in the
Netherlands last week, said that most members of his
tribe migrated to the Kurdistan Region.
"Most of the displaced people prefer to move there
because of security and the good treatment they
receive there as well as providing services to them.
The refugees in the region do not suffer from what
others in Jordan and Turkey suffer due to the
scarcity of water and medical services.
"The Kurds who arrived in Kurdistan felt great
differences between the living condition in the
region and Syria, where they had lived in extreme
poverty if compared to the living condition in
On March 31 the UNHCR registered the entry of 4,281
Syrian Kurdish refugees to Kurdistan. Kurds form 10
percent of the total population of Syria, which
amounts to some 23 million people.
External relations official Eve McDonnell at the
UNHCR said: "More than 20,000 Syrians have
registered with UNHCR as refugees since March 2011.
There are plans to launch projects with quick
results in cooperation with the authorities of the
region if it appears that the crisis will last
longer, and this is most likely to happen."
Regardless of the conflict in Syria, the Kurdistan
Region is witnessing economic development and is
attracting investment companies.
With regard to the Syrian crisis, the UNHCR records
that an average of ten families and about 70 people
are displaced each day to the region. These people
are mostly Syrian Kurds, activists and dissident
soldiers who are fleeing from the authorities that
prosecute them for opposing the regime or for their
participation in protests.
Some people also enter the region illegally to get
Barakat Jalal, a displaced Syrian Kurd who fled to
the Netherlands, is seeking to follow his family in
the Dumez in Faida district, southwest of Duhok.
Jalal said that he hopes to return to Kurdistan as
soon as possible after his family promised to talk
to regional authorities and the UNHCR about his
By Adnan Abu Zaid
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