Sulaymaniyah governorate profile, May 2015
Situated on the border with Iran, Sulaymaniah is located in the northeast of Iraq and has a total population of 1,893,617. Along with Erbil and Dahuk, it composes the area administrated by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Since the onset of violence in December 2013, Sulaymaniah saw the arrival of new IDPs fleeing in the aftermath of three security incidents: the January Anbar Crisis, the June Mosul Crisis and the August Sinjar offensive. Currently, the governorate is a safe haven for almost 180,000 IDP individuals,in addition to 30,000 Syrian refugees.
Sulaymaniyah enjoys stable security, which was the main pull factor for those who displaced there. However, an increasing population has placed a strain on the local economy, services and local infrastructure, impeding the delivery of basic services and stretching the economic capacity of the KRG to its limit. Sulaymaniah was facing problems with regards to the central budget allocation that caused delays in salary payments. Notably, the poverty rate in the KRI has increased from 3.5% to 8.1% since 2013. The influx of individuals and deteriorated security situation outside of the KRI resulted in the rise of housing costs by 5,4% in Sulaymaniyah, electricity by 11% and the price of fuel by 26,5%.