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 favorable, 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 accommodating towards the refugee population; the majority (88 percent) of Syrian refugee households nationwide reported feeling welcomed by host communities.

The protection environment is not expected to change significantly in the coming year 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.

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