UNHCR and WFP chiefs praise open border policy for Syrian refugees in Iraq's Kurdistan region

UNHCR and WFP chiefs praise open border policy for Syrian refugees in Iraq's Kurdistan region

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Fri, Aug 30, 2013

by Melissa Fleming

The heads of the UN refugee agency and the World Food Programme are praising Iraq's Kurdistan regional government for giving refuge to almost 200,000 Syrians fleeing the current crisis in their country.

"When a country is physically destroyed, its people dying and fleeing and a state and its services collapsing, the most important thing a neighbour can do is to keep the borders open. The Kurdistan region is an anchor of peace and stability in a very troubled part of the world," said UNHCR chief António Guterres.

Officials from UNHCR and WFP met the president of the Kurdistan region, Massoud Bazarni, who offered his commitment to continue welcoming Syrians fleeing to his region.

The minister of the interior, Karim Sinjari, also declared his commitment to hosting refugees but noted that resources were stretched and urged the international community to significantly step up support.

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