Syr­ian refugees seek em­ploy­ment and ed­u­ca­tion

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS - By Zakaria Muhammed

Many of the hun­dreds of thou­sands of Syr­i­ans, mostly Kurds, who fled into the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion are now liv­ing in aban­doned houses in the Re­gion’s cap­i­tal and fac­ing the prospect of un­em­ploy­ment and a lack of ed­u­ca­tion.

The Re­gion is still wit­ness­ing a rapidly in­creas­ing in­flux of refugees due to the in­ter­nal con­flict in Syria. To date, the Kur­dis­tan Re­gional Govern­ment (KRG) and UNHCR have been able to pro­vide ad­e­quate ba­sic ser­vices, pro­tec­tion and as­sis­tance to the refugees.

Many camps in all three prov­inces of Duhok, Su­laimaniya and Er­bil have been es­tab­lished for the refugees to live in.

Kaw­er­gosk, one of the camps set up in Er­bil, now has over 2 400 tents shel­ter­ing 13 975 refugees in an open field. The roads within the camp, which is sur­rounded by a large cir­cle fence, are not paved.

The refugees are pro­vided with three meals a day and health­care ser­vices. There is a hos­pi­tal in­side the camp where spe­cial physi­cians pro­vide treat­ment and se­nior nurses are on call 24 hours a day. There is also a fire depart­ment ready to re­spond rapidly in case of dan­ger.

The over­all se­cu­rity in Kaw­er­gosk Camp is sta­ble. The Kur­dish Zer­a­vani se­cu­rity, the se­cu­rity forces of the Asayesh and the po­lice con­tinue to en­sure se­cu­rity in the camp and sur­round­ing ar­eas.

Only 30 kilo­me­ters from Kaw­er­gos, the Dara Shakran camp con­tains 2 000 tents and 2 000 small homes equipped with a WC, kitchen and shower room. The camp, which shel­ters 10 000 refugees, is lo­cated in an open field and is sur­rounded by a fence.

In some camps, the KRG has pro­vided Syr­ian refugees with dif­fer­ent kinds of sup­port, in­clud­ing in­camp ser­vices and pri­mary schools, in or­der to keep the huge num­ber of refugees un­der con­trol. How­ever, liv­ing con­di­tions in some camps have yet to im­prove. Refugees in Dara Shakran lack both hos­pi­tal fa­cil­i­ties and a fire depart­ment.

It’s morn­ing in the Dara Shakran Camp. Dara Jaleel, a refugee from Syria, is try­ing to per­suade the se­cu­rity guard to let him out of the camp.

«We go out­side ev­ery morn­ing with spe­cial per­mits and try to find a job. We are ready to do any­thing to earn some money and get away from the camp,» Jaleel says.

Al­though Jaleed is will­ing to do la­bor­ing and con­struc­tion jobs, he does not find a job ev­ery day. “We get food, but food isn’t the only thing we need. We some­times need things that are not pro­vided by the au­thor­i­ties and or­ga­ni­za­tions, which is why we feel we need to work.”

An­other refugee, Be­war Rasheed, 16, was a high school stu­dent back in Syria. He said, “I can’t study here be­cause ev­ery­thing is dif­fer­ent. The whole sys­tem is dif­fer­ent, and I’m not at all clear about my fu­ture. Hope­fully, that won’t last for­ever.”

Raseed hopes the KRG will open high school in ar­eas near the camps so the refugees will not have to go without ed­u­ca­tion.

De­spite the dif­fi­cul­ties and lack of ser­vices, peo­ple like Jaleel and Rasheed still ac­cept liv­ing con­di­tions in the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion, which they con­sider to be bet­ter than liv­ing in Syria since their fam­i­lies are safe from the weapons of war in the KRG.

The UN refugee agency es­ti­mates that some 63 000 Syr­i­ans have en­tered the Kur­dish re­gion of Iraq over the past two months, bring­ing the to­tal num­ber of refugees in the Re­gion to at least 220 000. Most of them are eth­nic Kurds.

The UN has pre­dicted that al­most a quar­ter of all Syr­i­ans will be forced to flee their coun­try by the end of 2014 as a re­sult of the es­ca­lat­ing civil war.

Some 3.2 mil­lion Syr­i­ans are ex­pected to have reg­is­tered as refugees by the end of 2013, with that fig­ure ris­ing to more than 5.2 mil­lion next year, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent an­nounce­ment by the UN agen­cies. In ad­di­tion, some 6.5 mil­lion peo­ple could be in­ter­nally dis­placed by the end of 2014.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Iraq

© PressReader. All rights reserved.