Foreign Minister Zebari Heads Iraq's Delegation in Conference to Support Humanitarian Situation in Syria

Iraq participated on January 15, 2014, in the Second International Conference to support the humanitarian situation in Syria, hosted by the State of Kuwait in response to an appeal launched by the Secretary - General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki-moon.

68 countries, international organizations and specialized agencies participated in the conference which aims to build international support and focus on the crisis of refugees and displaced Syrians.

Foreign Minister Zebari gave a speech in the opening session and touched on the Iraqi government's efforts in receiving and providing care and support for Syrian refugees, as well as the role of the Kurdistan Regional Government, which hosts more than 97% of the Syrian refugees. Minister Zebari reported that the number of Syrian refugees registered with UNHCR is currently at 210,000 refugees in addition to the approximately 40,000 refugees not registered in the provinces of Iraq and the region.

The government of Iraq has provided a total of $58 million in assistance; the KRG has given $70 million to help refugees meet their needs of shelter, health services, food and drinking water and building new camps to receive additional refugees.

The government agreed to the launch the first humanitarian international transfer aid into Syria by UNHCR using ten aircrafts from Erbil Airport to Qamishli.

The minister also noted that the Iraqi Red Crescent opened medical clinics in Amman and five centers at the Ministry of Health in Lebanon. Iraq also announced at the conference that an additional $13 million dollars will be distributed to displaced Syrians inside Syrian territory in the border areas outside the control of the Syrian government.

For the original January 15, 2014 piece from Iraq Ministry of Foreign Affairs referenced in this summary, click here.