Iraqi government earmarks 195 million dollars for refugees
The Iraqi Ministry of Refugee Affairs has earmarked 195 million dollars to repatriate Iraqi refugees from abroad, dpa reported.
The daily al-Sabah newspaper, citing government sources, said that the move came in talks between the ministry and the prime minister's office on a proposal to repatriate all Iraqi refugees.
The ministry had previously consulted with international medical organisations on conducting an assessment of the refugees' intentions about returning to Iraq, especially those in Syria and Jordan.
Sources said that 94 per cent of the Iraqi refugees stated that they would only want to return to Iraq if the security situation had improved and job opportunities were available.
So far, the ministry has registered the return of some 10,000 Iraqi refugees, with 6,000 residing in Baghdad.
Meanwhile, sources said that the ministry has established two new units to receive applications of refugees wishing to return.
The ministry will cover all expenses of the refugees' return, exempt them from customs and provide them with financial aid as compensation for their having had to flee the country.
Official statistic put the number of Iraqi refugees at more than 4 million, with half of them located in Syria and more than 1.25 million refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt.