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IFIR Kurdistan-Activates of Kurdistan branch

IFIR works to support Iraqi and Kurdish refugees returned from EU countries to build their lives in Kurdistan and Iraq and integrate again into society.

IFIR is a democratic, human rights organisation. We consider that human rights are universal and they can not be limited by geography, gender, culture, religion, race, age or place of birth.

IFIR was established in 1993 by Iraqi and Kurdish refugees who fled from the Saddam Hussein’s regime and the consequences of the first gulf war. Since then Iraqi refugees across the world have joined and IFIR currently has active members in the UK, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Switzerland, Canada, Turkey, Iran and Iraq. This application is for IFIR’s work in Kurdistan and Iraq.

With the rise of the brutal and inhumane ISIS, Iraqi has become more insecure and dangerous and more people are leaving the country and trying to live abroad. And the Iraqi and Kurdish governments continue to act in a sectarian and unjust manner, persecuting individuals or communities they perceive as threats.

IFIR has seen first-hand the terrible effects of the recent violence. Last year the International Federation of Iraqi Refugees launched a campaign to help the people, including more than 5,000 Yezidi Christians, displaced by ISIS. However, humanitarian responses are not enough and a political solution is needed

IFIR is currently working with more than 5,000 returnees in our offices in Sulemaniya . 1,200 of these returnees have come back from the UK since 2005.

We provide essential support for refugees, the majority of whom fled Iraq after the first Gulf War and the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship regime in 2003, but who have since returned to Iraq.

Some people have been living in the EU for as many as 20 years and the fates of some on returning are severe. People who have returned have been killed and kidnapped; they have committed suicide and suffered severe mental hardship. Many have gone into hiding or left Iraq again. People suffer from separation from the families, friends and communities they have made in the EU.

All returnees find it difficult to restart their lives in a country that is no longer their home and that has often changed significantly. Many people’s families no longer live in the country.  Work is hard to find and unemployment benefit non-existent. Those who have left Kurdistan when they were young have built up skills in the EU that are of no use in Kurdistan. A recent returnee for example, used to work in a food factory in the EU. His skills are non-transferrable to Kurdistan, where such factories do not exist.

Those who have been treated for medical illnesses both physical and mental, find similar support hard or impossible to find. The support they receive from the Iraqi or Kurdish governments on their return is minimal and there is an urgent need for an organisation whose principal activity is providing support to returning refugees. Iraqi refugees continue to return, some by choice, others not.

 We are building on many years of work. Most recently, IFIR was allowed to work in the Kurdish part of northern Iraq. IFIR has been given legal permission by the Kurdistan Regional Government to organize and help deportees in the north of Iraq and hopes to receive similar permission for the rest of the country.

We have been a prominent voice for the rights of Iraqi refugees. We are contacted daily by refugees requesting support or wanting to join and take action with us. It is very difficult for us to cope with the volume of work and we need funding to increase our capacity, especially in Iraq.

It will help us to keep in contact with people who have been deported and support them through the psychological trauma they often go through after deportation.

Contact us at this email address ifir@hotmail.co.uk or on 07501730707 or 00447856032991

Our office Address in Kurdistan:

(9)(7TH) Shorsh- Suleymaniyeh-Kurdistan-www.federationifir.com

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