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The KRG Minister of Interior and UNHCR Lay the Foundation Stone of the New Registration Centre in Baharka [EN/AR/KU]

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Erbil, Iraq, 22 September 2021 - UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the Ministry of Interior, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) today laid the foundation stone of the new Registration Centre in Baharka, Erbil, the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).

His Excellency, Reber Ahmed, KRG Minister of Interior, his Excellency, Omed Khoshnaw, the Governor of Erbil and Ms. Nicole Epting, UNHCR Representative a.i., together laid the foundation stone for the new registration centre that will serve and benefit thousands of refugees and asylum-seekers residing in urban, peri-urban, and rural areas in Erbil Governorate.

In addition to UNHCR registration offices, the centre will house governmental departments that are an integral part of the registration process, allowing the whole process to be completed in one visit. The centre will function as a one-stop-shop for protection and assistance services for refugees and asylum-seekers while also providing counselling and support to internally displaced persons living in Erbil.

The construction of the registration centre is funded through a generous contribution by The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED). Over the past five years, KFAED has contributed more than USD 12.5 Million to help improve living conditions and increase access to services for Syrian refugees in Iraq by supporting shelter construction, road rehabilitation, installation of solar streetlights, and water infrastructure projects.

“The new centre will facilitate access to registration services for refugees and asylum-seekers who live in Erbil Governorate, for whom registration is essential as a basis for protection and the first step to accessing basic services, including education, livelihoods, and healthcare,” said Nicole Epting.

“The Kurdistan region has faced several crises during the past years, including the COVID-19 pandemic. I thank the state of Kuwait for supporting this important project and I take this opportunity to appreciate the support of UNHCR and also call for the international community to continue to assist the KRG in addressing the needs of refugees and internally displaced,” said Reber Ahmed, KRG Minister of Interior.

UNHCR currently runs three registration centres in the KRI, supporting over 263,000 refugees and asylum-seekers.

For more information contact:

Firas Al-Khateeb, Spokesperson and Communication Officer
Erbil, Iraq | +964 780 918 9700 | khateeb@unhcr.org

Shaza Shekfeh, Associate Communication Officer
Erbil, Iraq | +964 770 494 6384 | shekfehs@unhcr.org

Rasheed Hussein Rasheed, Senior Communications Associate
Duhok, Erbil | + 964 750 713 0014 | rasheedr@unhcr.org

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