Refugee influx taxes N. Iraq relief effort
Relief workers in Irbil and other areas of northern Iraq said their services are stretched as thousands of refugees from around the region seek haven.
The area has taken in refugees from Kurdish areas across the border, Shiites and Sunni Arabs and other people displaced by regional violence, Voice of America said Friday.
Part of the reason refugee efforts are taxed is support and help that was given to Iraq was concentrated in the south rather than the north, Dindar Zebari, the Kurdistan regional government's U.N. affairs coordinator, told VoA.
Giorgio Francia, an official with Swedish-based refugee agency Qandil, said at least 10,000 families arrived in the area during the last few months, Voice of America said. The official said that could mean at least 50,000 people need shelter, work, schooling and other services.
Francia told Voice of America that the influx of refugees into northern Iraq could force refugee workers to build camps to house the displaced, Voice of America said. Refugee officials don't want to because camps can remain opened for years and make people dependent on the services provided.