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2 December 2015

 MERI's Report: A New Response for IDPs in the Kurdistan Region

11 November 2015 / Publication
In it for the Long Haul: A New Response for IDPs in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq  

The MERI report, In It for the Long Haul: A New Response for IDPs in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq is a compilation and analysis of critical issues and possible next steps for dealing with the challenges posed by increasingly protracted displacement in the Kurdistan Region. This new approach must focus on promoting self-sustaining livelihoods and cohesion among IDP and host communities in the foreseeable future while laying groundwork for voluntary, safe, dignified, and informed returns in the longer-term. 

Read more download the report.

KRG Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani at MERI

30 November 2015 / Meetings
"The economy is the existential threat to the Kurdistan Region" Deputy Prime Minister Talabani 


“Kurdistan cannot win the war against ISIS or support refugees and IDPs if we do not address the existential economic crisis we are facing. If the economy of Kurdistan fails, all the other issues will become irrelevant,” stated Deputy Prime Minister Qubad Talabani as he and his policy team sat down with MERI on Wednesday, November 25, to discuss the Kurdistan Region’s economy. The aim of this meeting was to exchange views on the future of economic reform in the Kurdistan Region and examine ways of engaging in mutually beneficial collaborative projects that serve the greater good of Kurdistan.

Professor Gill Hague, Center for Gender & Violence Research, Bristol University

29 November 2015 / Events
Women, Terrorism and the Media in the Middle East: the Kurdistan Example

“In recent years, sexual violence against women perpetrated in conflict areas around the world has reached endemic proportions. There has been increased publicity about it, but silence still surrounds it” said Gill Hague, Emeritus Professor for the Center for Gender and Violence Research at the University of Bristol in a seminar held at MERI on women, terrorism and media. Nevertheless, women are not always victims of war. Women in the Kurdistan Region became warriors in the fight against ISIS. “These women are combatants, activists and builders of peace, reconciliation and recovery” Professor Hague argued.

Health Policy Workshop at MERI 

31 October 2015 / Events
Health System Challenges in the Face of the Humanitarian Crisis in Iraq

An extremely challenging context for healthcare provision emerged in Iraq, and in Kurdistan Region in particular, due to the combination of both the displacement crisis and the substantial decrease in available public financial resources. This has intertwined with structural deficiencies in the public health provision that have historically hindered the effectiveness and quality of its service. In consequence, the vulnerable situation of most displaced households – mainly in relation to shelter and the fact that the public infrastructure is stretched beyond its limits – is exacerbating the risk of a health crisis, which requires a thorough analysis of the challenges and effective strategies.

MERI team at the Brookings Institution

31 October 2015 / Events
MERI Team Briefs Senior Officials and Think Tank Community in Washington D.C.


During a recent trip to Washington D.C., a delegation of Middle East Research Institute (MERI) staff were hosted by a number of U.S. think-tanks at series of roundtable events. MERI also engaged with State Department officials, members of Congress, and representatives of the Kurdish community. These meetings offered opportunities to highlight the Institute’s projects which were designed to contribute to peace, stability, nation building, human rights and democratisation in the region, and provide political briefings regarding Iraq and the Kurdistan Region.

Erdogan vs. Demirtash 

22 October 2015 / Op-ed
Electoral Failures, Misguided Choices: The Finite Point of the AKP's Kurdish Policy

Whatever the short-term gains of the AKP rally-around-the-flag effort, the long-term consequences have the potential to be catastrophic for Turkey’s domestic stability and position in the region. It appears that the AKP first decided to end the ceasefire with the PKK unilaterally, weakening the HDP’s pressure on PKK to lay down their weapons and re-course to formal politics. Despite AKP threats and the current air strikes, it is difficult to imagine the PKK giving in now, considering they did not during the peak of war in the 1990s. The only way to weaken and ultimately stop PKK militancy is through political inclusion, like that of the HDP.


30 November 2015 / Events
Sharing Visions for the Future of the Middle East

MERI Forum 2015 brought together this November policy- and decision-makers, academics and opinion-leaders to "Share Visions for the Future of the Middle East". Over the course of three days, the conference provided a platform for dialogue ans reconciliation, providing creative and constructive answers to a range of policy issues. The Forum was a significant event where key stakeholders sat down to debate current political, social and economic developments. The recordings of each session and their summary are available online in the link below. 
Watch the session videos here.


November/ Press
MERI Mentions 



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The Middle East Research Institute (MERI) is an independent, not-for-profit organisation, focused on policy issues relating to the people, the land and the system of governance in the Middle East in general, and Kurdistan and Iraq in particular. It is based in Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq.


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