Number of refugees from NE Syria seeking shelter in Kurdistan Region passes 20,000: JCC

Bardarash displacement camp in the Kurdistan Region on January 14, 2020. (NRT Digital Media/Winthrop Rodgers)

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SULAIMANI — The Kurdistan Region’s Joint Crisis Coordination Centre (JCC) said on Friday (January 24) that more than 20,000 Syrian refugees had sought shelter in the Kurdistan Region, fleeing the violence unleashed by the Turkish invasion on October 9.

Refugees began arriving on October 14 and by the end of the month 13,828 had entered the Region. After that, daily arrivals slowed, but a steady stream continued through the Sehela village south of the official crossing at Fishkabour, with between 20 and 50 people arriving each day during January.

On Friday, the JCC reported that 27 people arrived, bringing the total to 20,011.

Source: KRG-JCC

Many of the refugees were transported to the Bardarash Camp northwest of Erbil for registration and provision of their most immediate needs for shelter, medical care, and food.

Once registered and cleared, many have opted to either continue on to the Kurdistan Region’s cities or to return home to Syria. An estimated 9,000 people remain in the camp.

Nevertheless, conditions continue to be difficult, especially as frigid weather has descended on the Region over the past several weeks, dropping to freezing or below at night. NRT visited the camp earlier this month and spoke with refugees and officials to gauge conditions on the ground.

Meanwhile, the situation back in northeastern Syria remains unsuitable for most to return home, with fighting and attacks on civilian areas continuing in many areas.

(NRT Digital Media)