Iraq - In response to dangerously low temperatures, IOM distributed 1,700 barrels of kerosene fuel to vulnerable internally displaced persons (IDPs) this week in Dahuk Governorate, northern Iraq.
This fuel complements the distribution of 1,700 winterized non-food item (NFI) kits that include heaters, stoves, blankets, carpets and plastic sheeting, to help displaced families to survive the cold.
The 200 litre barrels were distributed in the sub-districts of Bamarne and Chamanke in Amedi District, and in the sub-district of Zawita, in Dahuk District.
These locations were selected by the Dahuk Governorate Emergency Cell, because they are among the coldest in the governorate. They have already experienced snow and freezing temperatures, which has created additional hardship for IDPs living in informal settlements and unfinished buildings.
Some 300 to 350 fuel barrels were filled per day over a five-day period. Beneficiaries received the barrels and a fuel voucher along with their NFI kits, and then collected their fuel at a central site near their communities.
IOM staff spoke with Kheri, a father of three living in an unfinished house in Warmale, Dahuk.
“This part of Dahuk is the first to see snow. Until now, we have been burning wood inside to stay warm, and cannot afford to always cook our meals on the stoves we received. My children are coughing from all of the smoke, but there is nothing we can do because we must stay warm somehow. Before the distribution, we were all sleeping under one blanket. This distribution of supplies and fuel will help,” he said.
The 200 litres of kerosene will not be enough to last these families for the winter. IOM is currently engaged in efforts to distribute additional barrels to displaced families in need.
In the coming weeks IOM will distribute 2,400 more barrels. In total, the two distributions will assist over 24,000 people. These donations are funded by Germany. The UK will provide funds for additional fuel distributions.
IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Lothar Weiss said: “Winter weather has arrived and displaced people in Iraq are in desperate need of assistance to survive the freezing temperatures. We are happy to work with our donors and local government to facilitate these fuel and NFI distributions. But these beneficiaries represent a small fraction of the total number of people in need of relief supplies. Additional commitments are immediately needed to help the most vulnerable throughout the country."
According to IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix, over two million (2,004,066) people have been displaced throughout Iraq this year. Some 34 per cent are living in makeshift shelter arrangements and are not prepared for winter temperatures.
IOM has distributed over 28,000 winterized NFI kits across 14 governorates to displaced people since mid-October. Over 64,000 NFI kits have been distributed across the country this year in response to the current crisis.
IOM has received USD 76.9 million of the USD 295.5 million requested as part of the UN Strategic Response Plan (SRP) to provide life-saving assistance to five million vulnerable people in Iraq.
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