Duhok overloaded with refugees
Duhok governorate officially announced emergency humanitarian state
Duhok governorate officially declared a humanitarian state of emergency because of the large number of IDPs in the city. Depending on the Duhok province information, the total population of Duhok is 1,100,000 people. After Mosul and Shangal crises, there are more than 900,000 IDPs people who have sought refuge in the city which means the number of the IDPs is close to the number of the host community. IDPs include Arabs, Kurds, Ezidies, Christians and Shabaks.
In a press conference held in Duhok city last week, the Governor of Duhok Farhad Atrushi stated that Duhok governorate is now hosting close to 900,000 refugees. Many are now in the towns of Khanke, Shariya, Zahko, and Shekhan and in and around Duhok itself.
They are scattered across hundreds of sites. Some are staying with relatives; others are in schools, churches, mosques, parks and shells of apartment buildings without water or electricity.
The city has already embraced great number of refugees from Mosul and Christians from other areas. So because of the increasing number of the refugees in the city, Atrushi said: “We might not be able to provide enough assistance to them alone. This process needs to be achieved in cooperation with the government and all the other related authorities,”
UNHCR is distributing mattresses, blankets, emergency relief kits, household items and hygiene kits to locations in Duhok, Zakho, Akre, Shekhan, Khanke and the village of Bajet Kandela. We are also witnessing enormous generosity by the local community who are spontaneously handing out aid.
Thousands of people left their homes and fled to the Shingal Mount and Kurdistan Region after ISIS insurgents attacked Shingal town, specifically targeting the Yazidi people whom they consider to be "devil worshippers." Those who stay in the mountains face hunger and thirst. So far, more than 60 children and elderly have perished.
Since the start of US air strikes against the positions of the Islamic State ISIS last week, Peshmerga forces opened a safe corridor for the Yezidi families to reach the Kurdistan Region through Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan), where the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) are in charge.
Hospitals and clinics in Duhok have been receiving thousands of KurdishYezidis from the Mount Shingal with 100 doctors joining the relief efforts as volunteers.