IOM Delivers Tents in Kirkuk, Reports on Displacement in Anbar
Iraq - IOM distributed 550 tents this past week following a request from the Kirkuk Governor’s Office to families displaced by military operations in six villages in Multaquh and Yachay sub-districts in Iraq’s Kirkuk Governorate.
The families were displaced by recent fighting between ISIL and armed groups and security forces in which over 500 houses were destroyed. Residents reported losing their homes, belongings and livelihoods; many said that their livestock was stolen or killed.
With support from local authorities, IOM provided the tents one week after the villages were destroyed. Beneficiaries reported that it was the first aid that they have received.
IOM Rapid Assessment and Response Team (RART) members conducted the distribution in a location a few kilometers from the villages secured by local forces.
Kirkuk authorities, social service committees and representatives of Kirkuk Provincial Council attended the distribution. Funding for the tents was provided by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
IOM staff later visited the villages with officials from Kirkuk Provincial Council and Peshmerga security forces, and witnessed the collapsed houses and still-smoldering buildings.
A villager, Abo Shahud, said: “Our village has been targeted in the war and fighting. My home was completely destroyed. Our dreams are gone. I do not know what we will do. We lost everything. We appreciate this tent. Now at least I have shelter for my eight children. My family is okay, but my chickens and eight cows were stolen, and my dog was killed. I do not yet know how we will feed our family.”
Later this week IOM will distribute non-food item (NFI) kits to the same 550 families, including blankets, mattresses, heaters and kitchen sets. These winterized NFIs will assist families whose lives are being made even more difficult by the cold weather and rain.
IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Lothar Weiss said: “We are pleased to work together with Kirkuk Governorate authorities to support these people, who are in desperate need of immediate assistance. I hope that we can continue this life-saving, humanitarian operation. I want to thank the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its generous donation, which is enabling us to reach these kind of people.”
Conflict across Kirkuk Governorate continues to limit access to Al Hawija and Debes districts, where Kirkuk authorities report there is still a significant displaced population. IOM staff are working to validate the information.
IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) has identified 344,640 displaced individuals in Kirkuk Governorate, and displacement continues to rise. These Kirkuk figures have been recently identified and will be further detailed in a new DTM report later this week.
An estimated 36 per cent of displaced people in Kirkuk originate from Salah al-Din Governorate, while 32 per cent have been displaced from within Kirkuk. Some 32 per cent were displaced from other conflict-affected governorates.
Displaced people in Kirkuk are in a variety of shelter types. Over half (56 per cent) are staying in rented houses. Another 20 per cent (68,472 individuals) are residing in unfinished and abandoned buildings. An estimated 13 per cent are staying with host families, 3 per cent are in informal settlements and another 3 per cent in camps.
IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix identified 2.25 million displaced Iraqis from January 2014 through January 2015.
In Anbar Governorate, IOM reports over 160 families displaced from al-Baghdadi towards Heet city over past few days amid heavy fighting between Iraqi forces and ISIL. Other IDPs report that the humanitarian situation inside the area of Al Baghdadi is critical.
Access to basic services such as food, water, and health will severely deteriorate if the security situation does not quickly improve, IOM staffers reported.
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