In a meeting in the US, deputy head of the Barzani Charity Foundation (BCF) Musa Ahmed has claimed that there are more than two million refugees and displaced people living in the Kurdistan Region, from different ethnic and religious backgrounds.
The meeting took place at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Academics, journalists, university students, NGOs and embassy representatives attended the meeting.
Opening the meeting, the Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins SAIS welcomed the participants and began by talking about Kurds and Kurdistan, and the importance of the Peshmerga in the fight against Islamic State (IS). He praised the activities of the BCF in Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.
Ahmed replied by highlighting the charitable activities of the BCF, which has served people in the Kurdistan Region and wider Iraq, regardless of their ethnicity, race, gender or nationality.
He pointed out that Kurds have always believed in living in harmony and co-existence, and have sacrificed a great deal in the pursuit and defence of this ideal.
“Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani has told Christians that they are one of the main components of the Kurdistan Region; ‘Either we all live in harmony, or we will die together’,” Ahmed said, quoting a recent Barzani speech.
He continued by explaining that the refugee crisis in the Kurdistan Region had passed a significant benchmark; two million people from a diverse range of ethnic and religious backgrounds are now seeking shelter in the region, he claimed.
He praised the US and European countries for sending aid to the Kurdistan Region, but reiterated that more assistance is needed immediately and in the future.
“If IS aren’t completely destroyed in Iraq and Syria, they will for sure threaten the security and safety of your countries in the future,” he said.
Ahmed also noted that Barzani and the Chancellor of the Kurdistan Region Security Council Masrour Barzani directly supervise and lead the war against IS militants.
The BCF was officially invited by the US Congress as the only Iraqi charity organisation operating in the Kurdistan Region and Iraq.