Political Trust in Times of Pandemic: A Survey on The Impact of Covid-19 on The Situation of Refugees in The Kurdistan Region of Iraq


  • Mohammedali Yaseen Taha Department of Political, College of Law and Politics, Nawroz University, Kurdistan Region, Iraq




Keywords: Political Trust, Social Cohesion, Syrian Refugee Crisis, Covid-19 Crisis, Survey.


The northern region of Iraq (the KRI) hosts the majority of Syrian refugees and IDPs. The KRI hosts more than 98% of registered Syrian refugees in Iraq. In the KRI, like anywhere else, the pandemic has more socio-economic and psychological impact among the refugee population.  According to another report published by the ESCWA, the pandemic has resulted in increased stigma, xenophobia and discrimination. According to the same source, the refugees have been constantly accused of contributing to a wider spread of COVID-19, and of having a significant impact on food security, nutrition and access to basic services. 

This survey has been conducted to investigate the impact of the pandemic and its ramifications on the refugee community in the KRI. It has been conducted solely among the refugees residing inside the camps located in three KRI governorates, Erbil, Duhok and Suleymania, which represent 39% percent of the total refugee community in the KRI.  The research aims to assess the socio-political/economic impact of the COVID-19 situation on the community which lives in the camps across the region, and focuses on the situation of the refugee population inside the camps during the pandemic. It examines (i) the challenges this community faces because of the pandemic; (ii) the way the Syrian refugee communities deal and interact with the news of COVID-19; (iii) the economic impact of the pandemic and the levels of self-reliance and revenues of this community; (iv) this community’s interest in and knowledge of the current issues; (v) the degree of satisfaction with the quality of services in the camps, and (vi) general trust in the state’s institutions.


Download data is not yet available.


Basnews, 2019. “PKK-Affiliated Party Opens Anonymous Offices in Sulaymaniyah”. which I thinhttps://www.basnews.com/en/babat/510337 [Accessed 20 January 2021].

Beaujouan et al., 2020. “Political Trust and Social Cohesion at a Time of Crisis: The Impact of COVID-19 on Kurdistan Region-Iraq”. Open Think Tank. http://www.otto.krd/doc/KRI-Covid-Report.pdf [Accessed 20 January 2021].

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020. “COVID-19 And Your Health”. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-with- medical-conditions.html [Accessed 29 December 2020].

Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and United Nations Higher Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), 2015. “Syrian Refugee Camp Livelihoods Assessment: Erbil Governate, Kurdistan Region of Iraq”.


[Accessed 20 January 2021].

Inter-Parliamentary Union, 2018. “Iraq (Council of Representatives of Iraq), Last Elections”. PARLINE Database. http://archive.ipu.org/parline-e/reports/2151_e.htm [Accessed 21 January 2021].

Leezenberg, Michiel, 2017. “Iraqi Kurdistan: A Porous Political Space”. Anatoli, vol 8, no. 2, pp. 107-131. https://journals.openedition.org/anatoli/608#tocto1n2 [Accessed 20 January 2021].

Muhtaseb, Lamis El, 2013. “Jordan’s East Banker-Palestinian schism”. Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre. https://www.files.ethz.ch/isn/162779/746892aacedd3e8fcb1ff7370a77fb67.pdf [Accessed 20 January 2021].

Stevis-Gridneff, Matina, and Carlotta Gall, 2020. “Erdogan Says, ‘We Opened the Doors,’ and Clashes Erupt as Migrants Head for Europe”. New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/29/world/europe/turkey-migrants-eu.html [Accessed 21 January 2021].

Taha, M., 2020. “Lutkeyi COVID-19 le Kurdistan [Kurdish text] Peak of COVID-19 in Kurdistan”. Rudaw. https://www.rudaw.net/sorani/opinion/06042020 [Accessed 20 January 2021].

United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) and New York University Center on International Cooperation, 2020. “COVID-19, Conflict and Risks in the Arab Region: Ending Hostilities and Investing in Peace”. https://www.unescwa.org/sites/www.unescwa.org/files/publications/files/covid- 19-conflict-risks-arab-region-english.pdf [Accessed 20 January 2021].

United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), 2020. “Syria Regional Refugee Response”. http://data2.unhcr.org/en/situations/syria/location/5 [Accessed 20 January 2021].

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), 2020. “Impact of COVID-19 on Migrants and Refugees in the Arab Region”. https://reliefweb.int/report/algeria/impact-covid-19-migrants-and-refugees-arab-region [Accessed 20 January 2021].

World Health Organization. 2021. “Medical Doctors (Per 10 000 Population)”. https://www.who.int/data/gho/data/indicators/indicator-details/GHO/medical-doctors-(per-10-000-population) [Accessed 20 January 2021].



How to Cite

Yaseen Taha, M. (2022). Political Trust in Times of Pandemic: A Survey on The Impact of Covid-19 on The Situation of Refugees in The Kurdistan Region of Iraq. Academic Journal of Nawroz University, 11(4), 375–399. https://doi.org/10.25007/ajnu.v11n4a1333