Priorities shift to Ukraine war

International relief organizations suspend activities in Sulaymaniyah

SULAYMANIYAH, August 5 — A prominent official in the Sulaymaniyah government stated that international relief organizations have suspended their activities in the region and handed over responsibilities to the Iraqi government, citing the increasing news about Iraq’s rising reserves of dollars and gold. The focus of these organizations has shifted to assisting civilians in the war in Ukraine.

According to information received by 964, United Nations-affiliated organizations such as WFP, UNICEF, and UNHCR, known for their humanitarian efforts in nutrition and education, have halted their activities in Sulaymaniyah, leaving aid and services to be managed by the Iraqi government.

Aamer Adel, a member of the Crisis Cell in Sulaymaniyah governorate, stated that the World Food Program (WFP) stopped funding food for refugees and internally displaced persons in Aishty camp for the past six months. Most international organizations have drastically reduced their service provisions and financial donations, impacting refugees and displaced individuals.

The organizations and agencies justified the suspension of services due to the ongoing humanitarian crisis and war in Ukraine, as well as the surge in Iraq’s currency and gold reserves.

These international organizations have left matters in the hands of the Iraqi government, directly influenced by statements about the growth in oil sales and reserves, leading to the suspension of aid.

According to the latest data from the Crisis Cell in the Kurdistan Region, 30% of refugees live in 36 camps, while the remaining 70% reside outside the camps among the population of the region. The distribution is as follows: Erbil: 41%, Sulaymaniyah: 19%, and Duhok: 40%.