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Funds from Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development allow UNHCR to continue delivering essential services to refugees in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq
A Refugee woman is recording her biometric data at the newly opened Baharka registration centre. UNHCR/Iraq
UNHCR, the UN refugee agency in Iraq, in cooperation with the Kurdistan Regional Government and Ministry of Interior, with generous financial support from the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, opened a new registration centre in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Erbil.
The new centre will function as a one-stop shop for registration and protection services, allowing UNHCR to obtain biodata to provide its certificates and support refugees according to their specific needs. At the centre, refugees can access an information desk to learn about humanitarian and public services and legal assistance. Women and children survivors of violence also have access to specialised psychosocial services.
In addition to UNHCR staff and its protection partners; INTERSOS, Terre des Hommes, Al-Mesalla, Kurdistan Save the Children, and WCHAN, the registration centre will also house governmental entities, namely General Assayish and the Erbil Directorate of Residency. As a result, refugees will immediately be able to secure their humanitarian residency permits, which are the documents provided by the authorities to asylum-seekers and refugees to regularise their stay in The Kurdistan Region of Iraq and to access public services. It is expected that 24,000 refugees a month will benefit from all these services.
"Registration with UNHCR is a necessary step in the life of a refugee. It will guarantee them to secure a legal residency with the Kurdish authorities and give them access to public and humanitarian services." Said UNHCR Representative in Iraq, Mr Jean-Nicolas Beuze. "Today's opening of the registration centre is a testament to the great cooperation with the Kurdistan Regional Government. We are glad that it benefits from the financial support from KFAED as partners with us to protect refugees," Beuze added.
Nisreen Rubaian, the representative of UNHCR to the State of Kuwait thanked and appreciated the Kuwait government and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development and its role in supporting displaced persons and refugees in the MENA region and around the world, especially in response to the pressing humanitarian needs due to protracted crisis in Syria and Yemen. Kuwait Fund have worked on strengthening their joint efforts to meet the growing humanitarian needs in light of historical numbers of asylum and displacement through sustainable infrastructure projects.
"Today, we are witnessing another achievement written in the record of our joint work in serving our Syrian refugee brothers and host communities. This project is considered one of 5 projects signed with UNHCR towards infrastructure for refugees; we are proud of this strategic partnership and hope it will achieve its ultimate impact on easing challenges they face." Said the General Director of Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development Mr. Waleed AlBahar
The newly established building will function as a registration centre for refugees and other protection activities. It will eventually serve as a secondary school for the neighbourhood. Education is a priority for the Kuwait government, UNHCR and the Kurdish government to support education for the most vulnerable.