Iraq - Since Sunday (15/6), IOM has distributed emergency non-food relief packages to 6,720 displaced people in Kalakchi, Talasquf, Bashiqa, Qasrok and Khazir camps, where thousands of displaced people have found refuge following the fall of Mosul to Armed Opposition Groups.
It also distributed food and health kits on behalf of WFP and UNICEF and, at the request of UNHCR, delivered air coolers and cool boxes to the waiting area of the Khazir transit camp, where temperatures are above 40 degrees Celsius.
The IOM emergency packages, sourced from the IOM central warehouse in Erbil, include mattresses, fans, pillows, blankets, soap, gas cooker, towels and hygiene items. Most people left Mosul with virtually nothing, except their clothes and their identity documents.
Many displaced families are being hosted by family or friends. “We do not have anything here and there is no work for anyone. For the last eight days we have been sleeping without mattresses and blankets and eating very little, because my sister barely has enough to support her own family,” said Samira, who is living with her four children in her sister’s tiny house in Kalakchi.
Of the over 140,000 displaced people identified by IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), 62 per cent have found refuge with family or friends. Others are living in abandoned public or school buildings, or in mosques and other collective centers. Some 12 per cent of displaced people in the Kurdish Region are renting housing and 9 per cent are living in hotels.
Sixty-four per cent of the displaced families have cited non-food items among their top needs, followed by food. Over 20 per cent of the displaced have reported the need for better shelter.
Most people fear the future. “We are grateful for this aid, because this will help us to manage,” said Samira. “But we will need more. I am not sure how long we will have to stay here and I do not know how my husband and I will support our family.”
“Even though we no longer live in fear of explosions and gunfire, I am still worried for my family,” said Wadullah, another displaced person from Mosul sheltering in Kalakchi.
“Displaced people living with families and friends have been provided so far with water, food and non-food items. But this will not last. Hosting families won’t be able to sustain this help in the long term. The displaced will exhaust their financial resources and the chances of finding jobs are extremely unlikely,” said IOM Erbil Head of Office Lado Gvilava.
Food prices in Erbil have tripled and there are serious fuel shortages, resulting in a doubling of transportation prices.
“Over the next several days, we will be delivering emergency packages to hundreds of other families in other parts of Nivewa. The support we are giving is good, but we still need much more to reach more vulnerable families and continue to support them,” said Shevan Ghazi from IOM’s Dohuk office.
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