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Najat Abdullah, Director of Culture and Community Affairs for the Kurdistan Regional Government Representation in the United States (KRG-US), was in Kurdistan this January to help coordinate the distribution of winterizing aid to displaced persons and refugees through the Kurdish Relief Fund (KRF).

IMG_1381In addition to his position at the KRG-US, Mr. Abdullah acts as the President of the KRF, a newly established US non-profit dedicated to bringing aid to those in need in Kurdistan. Working with local Kurdish officials in Duhok, Mr. Abdullah assisted in distributing over 2,000 articles of warm clothing.

The goods were collected during a December 2014 drive in the Washington, DC area, with Kurdish communities in Virginia contributing significantly to the effort. Mr. Abdullah said, “In addition to the generosity shown by the community, on behalf of the KRF, I would like to thank Mr. Sabah Kestay in Duhok for his contributions, Mr. Ali Ghaderi and Mr. Nuri Hardi for providing logistical support, and Nordana USA for providing shipping”.

Since 2013, over 1.6 million people have fled the advances of terrorists through Iraq and Syria and have sought refuge in the Kurdistan Region. Many of them rely on international humanitarian aid but remain ill-equipped for the cold winter months.

The distribution effort followed on the needs that displaced persons brought to Mr. Abdullah’s attention during a fact-finding trip in October 2014. This January, Mr. Abdullah met with Duhok mayor Farhad Atrushi to receive updates on areas in critical need.

The KRF plans to lead further operations to deliver aid in the coming months. Information on KRF activities can be found on Twitter @KRF_USA.

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