(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The UN announced here Wednesday that the humanitarian and security situation in Iraq is so bad that Syrian refugees there are asking the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) to help them go back home despite the equally bad situation in Syria.
"In Iraq's Anbar province, the security and humanitarian situation is reportedly deteriorating including further displacement. Syrian refugees settled in Al Qa'im are requesting UNHCR to urgently facilitate their return to Syria," UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told the daily press briefing without providing figures.
In Ninewa province, he said, a humanitarian assessment found out that an estimated 9,620 families have been displaced, mainly to areas under Peshmerga control, and in Dohuk and Erbil, shelter continues to be the most pressing concern.
He added that UN Agencies, including UNHCR, the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) continue to increase assistance to help displaced families in affected areas.
Asked if the UN continues to relocate its staff, Haq confirmed that some staff had been relocated temporarily from Baghdad to Erbil and other places, whereas the UN Special Representative for Iraq Nickolay Mladenov and other critical staff will remain in Baghdad.
He noted, however, that earlier today Mladenov represented Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at the 41st session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Council of Foreign Ministers held in Jeddah, and delivered a message on the "alarming deterioration" of the security situation in Iraq.
In that message, the Secretary-General said the "situation increases sectarian tensions in the region and it is imperative that acts of reprisal be avoided," calling on Iraqi leaders to come together and agree on "a set of inclusive political initiatives as well as a national security plan" to address the terrorist threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Haq recalled that Mladenov has repeatedly underscored the importance of an accelerated government formation process and the need for all communities to engage in the fight against terrorism.