Zakho- International Blue Crescent Relief and Development Foundation is going to meet emergency food needs of hundreds of thousands Iraqi IDPs forced to flee from Mosul and finally Sinjar Mountains to the regions of Northern Iraq Kurdistan due to ISIS attacks. 5-month dry food distribution project is held in Zakho city close to Turkish border where about 170.000 Iraqi IDPs take refuge and struggle to survive under difficult conditions. With the support of German HELP charity, 2800 family, more than fifteen thousand emigrants will be distributed by the end of the year out of a total of 200 tons of dry food.
Iraq is faced with an IDP crisis not seen in official before. The IDP crisis that started with hundreds of thousands people fleeing towards safe cities in Kurdish-controlled area in Northern Iraq due to the capture of Mosul by ISIS forces in last June has turned to a heartbreaking human drama with a new wave of flight of about 500 thousand Ezidis, Arabs and Turkmens who had to flee to Sinjar Mountains from the massacres of ISIS forces capturing Sinjar at the beginning of August. The majority of old people and children who waited hungry and thirsty for help in Sinjar Mountains have lost their lives due to the challenging conditions.
After the World public opinion’s reaction to this heartbreaking human tragedy, with the operation of Peshmerga and PYD forces, hundreds of thousands IDPs settled into Duhok city in Kurdish-controlled area in Northern Iraq and into derelict buildings, open construction areas, public buildings and schools in Zakho city in Turkish border. Previous immigration wave counted about 700 thousand Iraqi IDPs but with the recent one it exceeds 1 million. The big majority of this number struggles to survive under challenging circumstances in city centers and around Duhok and Zakho.
Within the scope of the project prepared by the Northern Iraq Field Office after IDP crisis that started in June, International Blue Crescent Relief and Development Foundation brought emergency food aid to 1000 families. Having distributed emergency food aid to 1000 families during the last immigration wave, International Blue Crescent Relief and Development Foundation has started 5-month emergency food aid distributions to 2800 families with a new project realized with German HELP charity after these distributions.
Over 170 thousand IDPs who settled into constructions, schools, empty shops and some public buildings in Zakho town in Turkish border need emergency food aid as well as clothes, beds, blankets, kitchen tools, mobile toilet and bathroom facilities immediately. The fact that migrants staying in ongoing constructions are unable to accommodate their toilet and hygiene needs in a healthy environment and migrants staying in open area are in similar unhealthy circumstances, increases the threat of epidemic situations.
FOOD AID TO OVER 15 THOUSAND MIGRANTS
In cooperation with local government, German HELP foundation and International Blue Crescent Relief and Development Foundation’s Zakho teams firstly identified the needs of the registered IDPs who settled into constructions and schools, then completed the first part of aid distributions over 40 tons covering vegetable oil, sugar, tea, wheat, rice, pasta and tomato sauce to meet their food needs.
Because United Nations and too many relief foundations focus on Arbil and Duhok, 170.000 IDPs mostly Ezidi who struggle to survive in tough conditions in Zakho consider themselves abandoned to their fate. Zakho District Governorate Disaster Management Center at first, international NGOs, local foundations, municipalities of provinces of Southeast Turkey, AFAD and Turkish Red Crescent and different agencies are transmitting assistances. At the same time, Turkmen, Arab and Christian IDPs of the first immigration wave are complaining that the assistances are not enough.
International Blue Crescent Relief and Development Foundation has started its activities in Northern Iraq in May before IDP crisis according to the work permit received from the Kurdish Regional Administration. IBC prompting field teams based in Duhok and Zakho upon IDP crisis that started with the capture of Mosul by ISIS soon after the opening of the headquarters in Arbil, has also temporarily built storage and packaging areas in Zakho. Thanks to its near dialogue and effective coordination with local authorities, International Blue Crescent Relief and Development Foundation were able to accommodate quickly the needs occurring in the region during the second immigration wave and made a food and hygiene kit distribution of its own resources to 1000 families in Zakho after the capture of Sinjar by ISIS. IBC, maintaining its activities in the region, will continue the dry food distributions towards 2800 families within a common project held with German HELP charity by the end of 2014.
It is decided where to deliver distributions by the daily coordination meetings in Zakho downtown divised into different districts within the scope of the lists made by Northern Iraq Kurdish Regional Administration while systematic works of Regional Administration about the registration of IDPs as well as the coordination of aid distributions.
FUND RESEARCHS FOR CAMP CONSTRUCTIONS
The most immediate need in the region is to build the IDP camps to accommodate necessary living conditions to over 600 thousand IDPs taking refuge in Zakho and Duhok. AFAD and Turkish Red Crescent have started camp construction works for 10.000 IDPs in Zakho and 20.000 IDPs in Duhok. Infrastructure works are going on in the areas allocated by the Kurdish Regional Administration. But the completion of the camps are expected by the mid-September. On the other hand, Kurdish Regional Administration started with United Nations working for camps big enough to accommodate the need in the region. More than 40 thousand IDPs only have been settled into 79 schools in Zakho downtown. It is not precise when they will be removed from those schools. Kurdish Regional Administration postponed 2014-2015 school year from September to October. After the removal of IDPs from the schools, the reopening will be doable upon the completion of restoration and cleaning works. IBC is continuing to prepare a project for accommodating the restoration and cleaning works of these schools with the officials of regional administration. Besides, common projects for hot meal distribution to 5000 IDPs and the needs of Health Centers are on the table.