Despite the challenging political climate in Iraq, the current economic downturn and the COVID-19 situation, the protection environment in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I), where the vast majority of refugees in Iraq resides, remains favourable, despite some challenges as a result of COVID-19 related movement restrictions, particularly the closure of the border with Syria. Local authorities and host communities remain welcoming and accommodating towards the refugee population. The protection environment is not expected to change significantly in 2021 with regards to access to basic services and documentation, but access to territory for Syrians seeking asylum and protection in Iraq may be affected if restrictions at the border continue due to the pandemic.

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