Monday, 26 February 2018 12:04

UNHCR welcomes new pledges from Japan to protect and assist displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees

Baghdad, 26 February 2018: UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, welcomes new pledges from the people of Japan. Some US$ 19 million is pledged for 2018, amounting to $15 million to protect and assist displaced and returning Iraqis, and $4 million for the Syrian refugee response. Since the start of the recent conflict in Iraq in 2014, Japan has generously donated $73 million to UNHCR, supporting vital assistance to millions of people forced to flee their homes by conflict.

The generosity of Japan helps UNHCR to carry out its double mandate in the changing climate of Iraq. For UNHCR, finding sustainable solutions for displaced people and refugees is now a priority in Iraq, while simultaneously maintaining emergency assistance and protection for people who remain in camps. Japan provides vital funding for quick impact projects in return areas and host communities that facilitate sustainable returns and social cohesion. Shelter and cash assistance supports vulnerable IDPs and refugees who cannot yet return home, as does maintaining care and assistance in camps. Displaced and returning Iraqis will further benefit from access to legal assistance and documentation, and action to prevent sexual and gender-based violence. By supporting over 100,000 vulnerable Iraqis - whether they are displaced or have returned home - and over 22,000 Syrian refugees, this vital funding helps people get back on their feet as Iraq transitions out of crisis.

Mr. Fumio Iwai, Ambassador of Japan to Iraq, said: “It is the fourth year in a row since Japan started the assistance for vulnerable Iraqi and Syrian people affected by conflict through its Supplementary Budget. This assistance shows Japan’s strong and faithful commitment to addressing the basic needs in the camps and the areas of return in Iraq”. He added, “The assistance to UNHCR comes as part of the new package of humanitarian and stabilization efforts to Iraq amounting to approximately $100 million. Japan is determined to serve displaced and returning people, refugees and host communities in Iraq, while supporting Iraq’s efforts for its development.”

Acknowledging the generous contribution from the people of Japan, Bruno Geddo, UNHCR Representative in Iraq, said: “This is a critical moment for Iraq. Over 3 million people have returned to their homes, but 2.5 million are still displaced. A further 240,000 Syrian refugees need sustainable solutions. The country is turning a corner, but many people are still vulnerable and will need support for some time to come. Thanks to the generosity of the Japanese people, vulnerable Iraqis and Syrian refugees will not be forgotten.”

For more information contact:
Kate Pond
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+964 780 920 7286 (Baghdad)


Amira Abd El-Khalek
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+964 7726163729 (Erbil)


Mustafa Aldalawi
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+964 7801958468 (Baghdad)


Rasheed H Rasheed
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+964 7507130014 (Duhok)

Additional Info

  • Agency: UNHCR

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