IOM Assists Over 130 Yazidis to Resettle from Iraq to France
Erbil – One hundred thirty-two members of Iraq’s Yazidi community left Erbil International Airport today (22/05) for Toulouse, France, the latest resettlement effort by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), part of the Humanitarian Admissions Programme launched by President Emmanuel Macron.
President Macron has pursued this policy with the support of 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nadia Murad, who has advocated for vulnerable Yazidi women worldwide.
The initiative was the subject of a signing ceremony between IOM and the French Government attended by Ms. Murad two weeks ago in Paris.
“Today we have come to see you off on your new journey to France,” Dominique Mas, the French Consul General in Erbil, told the Yazidi families as they boarded the aircraft.
“In France you will receive protection, security, education, as well as medical and social support,” he continued.
The 28 Yazidi families are moving to France five years after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as ISIL, swept through Sinjar, the stronghold of Iraq’s Yazidi community. Since those attacks, a significant portion of the community remains displaced, including hundreds of families who fled to Mount Sinjar in 2014.
“We are grateful for the French government’s support to this vulnerable group of Yazidis, some of whom have gone through a terrible ordeal,” said Gerard Waite, IOM Iraq’s Chief of Mission. “IOM Iraq continues to assist all displaced Iraqi citizens, including Yazidis, both in areas of displacement as well as in their hometowns, to facilitate their sustainable reintegration.”
Prior to their departure, IOM assisted the families with transportation from Dohuk to Erbil, accommodation in Erbil and medical check ups. The teams also organized cultural orientation sessions and are facilitating their travel to France.
“As this group of Yazidi families touch down in Toulouse and surrounding areas, local nongovernmental organizations are ready to assist them to facilitate their integration in the host communities,” said Ambassador Eric Chevallier, Director of the French Crisis Center, before boarding the plane alongside the families on their journey.