Duhok Gov­er­nor an­nounces new camp for thou­sand fam­i­lies

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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