Sulaymaniyah Governorate Profile - September 2014

Sulaymaniyah, located in the northeast corner of Iraq bordering Iran, is part of the semiautonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). The governorate hosts a significant population of Syrian refugees, the majority of which are in the Arbat Camp (24,425 persons) in the southeastern region of the governorate.2 It also continues to host a growing number of IDPs resulting from a worsening security situation in other areas of Iraq, mainly Anbar and Salah al-Din, due to ongoing fighting between government forces and armed groups (AGs) who have seized control of areas of central and northern Iraq. Sulaymaniyah is an attractive place for displaced families, as it has regularly enjoyed stable security and a comparatively strong economy. However, the economic situation has recently suffered gravely due to the ongoing budget disagreement between the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and the central government of Iraq (GOI) which has caused a delay of monthly salaries to public sector employees and subsequently led to the suspension of most construction projects and affected the market movement. Rent prices are continuously rising, leading to over-crowded rental homes; as well, fuel availability has been severely limited, and prices have drastically increased.

The security situation, as well, has deteriorated since April. In June, after GOI forces pulled out, the Kurdish Peshmarga forces were mobilized to areas whose governance has traditionally been disputed between the Central Government and the KRG. Security forces have raised alerts for threats and continue to set up checkpoints as a security measure. 

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