UNHCR has reported that it is widening its response in Iraq to deal with the continuing influx of refugees. The UN refugee agency on Tuesday said over the past two weeks, more than 12,000 Syrian refugees have fled to Iraq.
Over 12,000 Syrian refugees have sought shelter in neighboring Iraq since the latest influx began two weeks ago, UNHCR said in a statement published on October 29. The UN Refugee agency said it was expanding its activities in Iraq to deal with the arrivals.
"The refugee population at recently opened Bardarash camp has exceeded 11,000 people and more than 800 are now sheltered at Gawilan transit site," the statement read. Both sites are approximately 150 kilometers east of the Syria-Iraq border.
UNHCR said it was working with authorities on reuniting refugees from the camp with their family members residing in the Kurdistan region of Iraq (KRI).
Support to authorities of Iraqi Kurdistan
UNHCR said it is supporting the response led by KRI authorities and that it is working closely with them to prepare other locations, in case both sites reach their capacity. According to UNHCR, refugee families at both locations are receiving the same services and humanitarian assistance, including hot meals, transportation, registration, shelter and protection services.
The agency's personnel also conducts "protection monitoring, child protection and identification of unaccompanied children and persons with specific needs." These activities start at border reception centers, the statement read further. UNHCR also said it provided support and relief for all new arrivals.
UNHCR further said it has deployed additional staff from their Baghdad office to support their teams in Erbil and Dohuk to "respond to the needs of the newly arrived refugees."