Iraq + 2 more

UNHCR is grateful for Government of Japan’s renewed commitment to support thousands of displaced persons, returnees, and Syrian refugees in Iraq [EN/AR/KU]


Baghdad, Iraq, 18 May 2022 - The Government of Japan contributed a generous USD five million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), renewing its longstanding commitment to improving the lives of vulnerable displaced families in Iraq in 2022.

This contribution from Japan comes at a crucial moment when humanitarian funding in Iraq is declining despite continued significant needs, exacerbated by the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and newly arising food security challenges linked to the conflict in Ukraine.

In the context of Iraq, documentation is crucial. An identity or civil document can be the difference between accessing healthcare and sickness, between going to school or remaining without any education, or for refugees, between being able to remain safe in Iraq and being deported to Syria where violence continues to destroy lives. Over 25 percent of Iraqi families who had been displaced by the violence from ISIL and 16 percent of those who have now returned home as well as close to 40 percent of Syrian refugees in Iraq lack a valid identity document.

With Japan’s generous support, UNHCR will be able to support over 9,000 Iraqi internally displaced persons (IDPs) to obtain civil documentation and to continue to offer its registration services to Syrian and other refugees and. Being recognised as an Iraqi citizen or a refugee in Iraq is a necessary step for having one’s rights fully recognised and fulfilled.

Additionally, Japan’s support will allow UNHCR to provide free legal assistance to 8,500 IDPs and refugees in Iraq, including to allow survivors of gender-based violence to file cases with law enforcement and judicial authorities if they wish, or support individuals with issues related to their properties or workplace. It will also help UNHCR provide legal aid for Syrians at risk of deportation from Iraq.

According to the Japanese Ambassador to the Republic of Iraq, His Excellency Mr. SUZUKI Kotaro, “UNHCR’s support for the documentation is an essential assistance to save IDPs, returnees and Syrian refugees in Iraq from imminent danger and ensure their human dignities. I commend UNHCR’s continuous and tireless endeavor to mitigate sufferings of those most vulnerable people. I hope that this project will alleviate the hardships of those people, who also have been most affected by current food security in the wake of the crisis in Ukraine.”

“In Iraq, access to identity and civil documentation is crucial across the humanitarian and development spectrum. So many Iraqis displaced by the recent conflict lost their ID. Being recognised as an Iraqi citizen is key to have access to education or health public services, but also to receive return grants and compensation for lost property. Similarly, not only can documentation prevent a refugee from being deported to a country where their life might be at risk, it also guarantees their access to education and health services as well. Japan’s valuable contribution will help thousands of individuals now in Iraq today, but also over the years to come as the country continues to recover and rebuild,” said Jean Nicolas Beuze, Representative of UNHCR in Iraq.

The Government of Japan has been one of UNHCR’s most important contributors over recent years. Thanks to the generous contributions of Japan and its people, thousands of IDPs, returnees and Syrian refugees in Iraq have been able to regain their place in Iraq and live in dignity and security


Firas Al-Khateeb, Spokesman and Communication Officer

Baghdad, Iraq +964 780 918 9700

Shaza Shekfeh, Associate Communication Officer

Erbil, Iraq +964 770 494 6384

Rasheed Rasheed, Senior Communications Associate

Dohuk, Iraq +964 750 713 0014