The UNHCR is to set up new refugee camps to accommodate the thousands of mainly Turkmen and Arab residents fleeing the savagery of ISIS gangs in the cities of Mosul and Tal Afar to the Federal Kurdistan Region.
While there was a quiet Eid at the Khazir camp 25 kilometres from Hewler, UN officials and the Governor of Hewler Nevzat Hadi, who visited the camp, admitted they were struggling to assist those at the camp.
Camps in the Duhok and Hewler (Erbil) areas of the Federal Kurdistan Region, seen as a ‘secure area’, and in Sinjar, are insufficient to meet the needs of those fleeing Tal Afar and Mosul, which have been captured by ISIS.
Every day 70-80 families fleeing Tal Afar and Mosul
Since ISIS captured Mosul on 12 June the migration is continuing, and it is reported that every day 70 to 80 families arrives in Hewler.
As the camp near Hewler only has around a thousand tents, UN officials and the Governor of Hewler, Nevzat Hadi, who visited the camp on the occasion of Eid, said they were trying to meet the humanitarian needs of the refugees. Hadi added that local people were also trying to help, but that all this was insufficient.
More than a million refugees in Kurdistan region
Governor Nevzat Hadi said more than a million people from Selahaddin, Diyala, Ambar, Tal Afer and Mosul had taken refuge in Kurdistan, adding: “It is really difficult to provide shelter for them and meet their needs.
The people of Kurdistan know all too well what it means to be a refugee and are doing all they can to help. But more people are coming every day so we need more tents.
Hadi added that although most of those in the camp were Turkmen, no assistance had arrived from Turkey. “I heard some aid had been sent to those in Sinjar and Duhok, but none has come here,” he said.
New camps will be opened
UNHCR officials visiting the camp said they had begun preparations to set up a new camp in the area with at least a thousand tents. They added that in some tents there were 3 or 4 families. Turkmen families who have fled Mosul and Tal Afar have taken refuge in the Sinjar area and at the Khazir camp near Hewler. While Shia Turkmen have gone south to the Shia cities of Karbala and Najaf, most Sunni Turkmen have remained in Sinjar and Hewler.
There is a shortage of blankets at the Khazir camp. On the first day of Eid some businessmen and companies from Turkey sent toys and sweets to the camp for the children. The Turkmen at the camp said that while they were pleased at this gesture, their only wish was for Turkey to open its borders and accept them.
ANF – HEWLER 29.07.2014