Duhok Governor announces new camp for thousand families
Duhok Governor Farhad Atrushi overviews the challenges and latest efforts to meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees currently sheltered in the province.
The Governor stated that a small committee has been formed to “build tents for the displaced families, based on budget allocation, with the guarantee that a camp for a thousand displaced families will be built by the Duhok governorate and funded by the Kurdistan Region.”
Governor Atrushi told KRG.org that the main difficulties in serving the displaced are constructing camps and providing food. He explained, “If we have 300,000 families, three meals per day equals 900,000 meals, 900,000 pieces of bread, and more than a million bottles of water.” He added that, based on initial calculations in Duhok’s seven districts, “the governorate will need $120,000 per day to provide each displaced person with two pieces of bread and a bottle of water, amounting to $1 million per week.”
The inauguration of Duhok’s Provincial Council came at a time when Baghdad had already withheld the KRG’s share of the budget, Mosul seized by terrorist militants, and a large number of civilians from the city fled and taken refuge in Duhok, adding to the thousands of Syrian refugee already sheltered in the province. The Sinjar crisis caused the vast majority of civilians to flee to Duhok as well, further exacerbating the humanitarian burden and prompting the declaration of emergency status.
TheProvincial Council convened its first meeting on 12 June, two days after terrorists seized Mosul. An operation room was established on 17 June as a step to prevent any crisis from impeding the work of Duhok’s Provincial institutions.
According to the latest joint statement released by the KRG and the United Nations, Duhok governorate and its seven districts have accommodated approximately half a million displaced people in August alone. This is in addition to vast numbers of displaced Sunni civilians from central Iraq, many of whom have taken refuge in Duhok for some years now.
The Governor added that according to the latest figures, more than a thousand locations in Kurdistan now accommodate nearly 1.4 million people; an enormous burden on the people and the government of the Kurdistan Region.
The Governor said that there is an agreement with Baghdad to help Duhok Province “finish a water project near the Tigris River for the displaced people. The project began in Garmaw camp and 300400 families will benefit once it is completed”.
Governor Atrushi stated “Between 300,000 and 400,000 civilians from Sinjar, Zumar, Tal Kaif, Tal Isqof, Batnaya, Bartella, Bahzani, and Qaraqosh have been accommodated in Duhok over the last two to three weeks. Some went to the al-Hamdaniya district or Erbil, and around 2,100 Kakayi families have taken refuge in Bardarash district.”
In the past, “more than 122,000 people entered Duhok through the Fishkhabour crossing, and the Duhok governorate immediately provided basic needs and established a committee chaired by the Mayor of Duhok to relocate the displaced to Zakho, Semel, and other areas”.
Because of the current situation, around 650 schools in Duhok province now accommodate more than 25,000 families, while other families stay in halls and unfinished buildings.
Governor Atrushi said, “The displaced families’ needs are not limited to only food and water. They also need electricity, healthcare, household goods, medicine, and items for children. This is in addition to the construction of camps, tents, health centers, and the provision of security and education for 60,000 to 70,000 families.”
The Governor also pointed out that economic and trade activities have been affected, especially at the Haji Omaran border, as Duhok Province has been a transit for trade between neighboring countries. He explained that the continuation of this situation has created economic difficulties for the Region.