Erbil governorate profile, August 2015
Situated in north-west Iraq with a total population of 1,542,421 (excluding Syrian refugees and IDPs), Erbil is the capital of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq administrated by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG).
As the economy and security of Erbil governorate are generally better than many other areas of Iraq, it continues to be a common destination for displaced populations. Since the onset of violence in December 2013, the number of IDPs in Erbil has soared and the governorate currently hosts 9 per cent of all the people displaced in Iraq from 2014 to 2015. As the cost of living in Erbil is comparatively high, many families move first to Erbil and then to surrounding governorates or countries in search of work and less expensive places to live. Reportedly, the increasing population has strained the local services and infrastructure, hampering delivery of basic services and stretching the economic capacity of the KRG to its maximum.
Security in the governorate remains generally stable; however there have been isolated incidents such as the April car bombing near the American consulate in Ankawa, a Christian neighbourhood in Erbil. Additionally, Turkey conducted airstrikes in July, targeting PKK facilities in Erbil in response to a suicide attack that killed two Turkish officers and wounded thirty-one at an outpost in eastern Turkey. As a result, some families were forced to leave their houses.