Appealing for immediate support for the forcibly displaced families
Since the first week of the occupation of the city of Mosul by IS terrorists 10/06/2015, who managed to expand their territory and to take over the Nineveh Plain and Sinjar later on, Hammurabi Human Rights Organization tried to offer as much support as possible for the families who were forced out of their territories, delivering different types of humanitarian supplies in Duhok, Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, Baghdad and Anbar.
During September and October, Hammurabi Human Rights Organization launched a Relief Program funded by Christian Solidarity International, the program aimed to help the IDPs regardless of their religious affiliation, the Relief Program included the following activities:
1. Delivering 650 pieces of winter clothes to Yazidies, including clothes for children and women who suffered the most during the past year of displacement.
2. Distributing more than 1574 Hygiene Baskets in Duhok & Erbil, HHRO’s goal from this action was to help prevent the outbreak of illnesses and diseased caused by low Hygiene conditions which could be common in IDPs camps.
3. Delivering 29 types of Medicine to both Om Al-Nour and Mar Narse Health Center in Erbil and Duhok, these Health Centers provide free of charge health care for IDPs.
4. Distributing 250 refrigerators in order to help the displaced families store their food and medicine in a proper environment.
5. Distributing 115 food baskets to widows and seniors with no one to support or help.
6. Distributing 2400 packs of diapers to children up to 3 years old.
During the Relief Program, HHRO members were keen to monitor and document different violations, in addition of collecting necessary statistics and information about the daily living conditions of the IDPs to help alleviate the pain and the suffering of these people.
HHRO is very concerned about the tragic conditions of the IDPs which demands for immediate help, according to the following:
1. Ashti Ankawa camp / Section 128, 40 Christian families are living in caravans situated in a warehouse, they are living in very unhealthy and harsh conditions and must be moved out of the warehouse.
2. Ashti Ankawa camp / Section 189, 70 Christian families are living in caravans situated in a warehouse, they are living in very unhealthy and harsh conditions and must be moved out of the warehouse.
3. Outside Ashti Ankawa camp warehouse / Section 128, 131 Christian families are forced to drink unpurified water.
4. Jihan camp / Erbil, which was previously used to house workers of a company, contains 42 Christian families who were asked to move out so the site could be demolished, they are in need for proper accommodation, such as caravans or rented apartments.
In Jihan complex, the women are forced to carry the water on their shoulders up on a very dangerously slippery stairs because they don’t have a water pump that could push the water up.
5. Ankawa Youth Center, 218 Christian families drink unpurified water, we witnessed the existence of worms and mud in the water filters. They are also in need for additional 25 caravans because there are too many people in few of the caravans, in addition of having extra caravans for the soon to be married couples, who should live in separate caravans.
6. Yazidi gatherings in different arenas in Sharia district and its roads, there are 60 families lacking the most necessary needs, these families are in urgent need for support especially with winter on the way.
7. There are many Yazidi families who left the camps in Zakho and Akra and headed towards the villages situated on Sinjar mountain regardless of the dangerous situation there, these families couldn’t withstand the harsh conditions in the camps and had to leave, more than one IDP or Mukhtar living in the mountain contacted HHRO asking for help and aid, many of them don’t even have accommodation thus asking for tents.
Sad to say, after many tries to get “security approvals” from Duhok Governorate Administration office to get to Sinjar and provide help, our efforts failed, the situation over there is disastrous and help must be provided with no limitations.
8. There is a great need for Hygiene Baskets in a number of camps and villages where the IDPs live, the need is up to 4000 Hygiene Basket, Hygiene items are highly needed to prevent the outbreak of diseases such as scabies and cholera.
9. There is a great need for winter clothes, especially for children in Erbil and Shaqlawa, their numbers are up to 500 students, in addition of the Yazidi students who live in structures.
Most of these families already have heaters but they don’t have kerosene to operate them, therefore, this item must be provided as soon as possible before winter, at least 50 liters of kerosene must be delivered to each families, this amount could be very helpful during winter.
10. Displaced families who pay rent must be helped, many of these families are incapable of paying rent anymore due to many reason, salaries are being paid 4 to 5 months late, other families don’t have salaries and they are running out of money, therefore, a solution must be found for these people as fast as possible before they resort to the final solution characterized by migration, among these families are members of HHRO.
11. Mar Narse Health Center lab is in need for continues funding, HHRO provided the necessary equipment for the lab, but there must be a continues amount of funding for the lab, such funds could be used to regularly buy medical and chemical items to perform lab tests.
12. Many families were included in the 1 million dinar grant given by the central government, these families didn’t receive their money yet, and families who have members forming their own families are demanding to be considered as two different families.
In the end, we appeal for allowing NGOs, and international organizations to work freely offering help and support for the victims of the war, we understand the current circumstances and that we are in a state of war, but authorities must respect Geneva four conventions for the year of 1949, especially the one concerning Humanitarian rights during conflicts, therefore we ask the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) to put pressure on these authorities so they respect their responsibilities related to respecting such conventions.
We also appeal for immediate support for displaced families, these people have suffered enough crimes and mass killings, and should be helped urgently, we call upon the wealthy ones and the different charities as well as government authorities who are unacceptably absent from the disastrous reality of those citizens, we ask for further support from national and foreign humanitarian organizations as well as religious institutions, who should put further efforts in action especially in regard to housing and providing aid to displaced families.
What we are asking for is a temporary and urgent solution for the issues provided above, this is a right that must be respected. The permanent solution is connected to liberating the area and providing security, so these people could have the chance to go back to their homes and restore their stolen rights.
In this regard, the Iraqi government and the international community including the aerial military coalition led by the United States should take responsibility of liberating the land from IS terrorist, liberating Mosul, the Nineveh Plain, Sinjar …. etc, in order to avoid further mass migration in addition of preserving the rights of the Iraqi citizens affected by this war.