Lifesaving assistance from day one

Region-Country: 
Iraq, Africa and Middle East
Date Publish: 
12 Sep 2014

Since the onset of the displacement crisis in January 2014, IOM has worked in coordination with the Kurdish Government, UN partners and humanitarian actors to meet the urgent needs of affected populations. From January, a staggering 1.7 million individuals have been displaced in 1,634 locations across Iraq since the beginning of 2014. Most of those uprooted fled to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) seeking safety.

As displacement numbers escalate, an enduring crisis loomed – one that will find thousands more in need of critical lifesaving assistance placing severe burden on the communities who host them.

Some arriving in the KRI have already been displaced four to five times. Several IOM beneficiaries detailed the long journey from Mosul to Sinjar City, up the Sinjar Mountains, across Syria and back over Iraq borders.  When finally arriving in Dahuk, these families had to again move in search of shelter, food and water.

“Without this equipment, we would have no way to cook,” one former teacher from Sinjar told IOM staff. “We have been sleeping on concrete for weeks. These mattresses offer us some comfort. I have been displaced four times already and this support really helps.”                                                         

Thousands of families currently live in schools, churches, mosques, and parks and in unfinished apartment buildings with no water or electricity. As winter approaches, local governments worry about adequate shelter for the thousands who have no homes.

Photos: © IOM 2014