Syrian refugees lack basic services, need more support: JCC
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The ongoing influx of Syrian refugees into the Kurdistan Region has increased the need for emergency and essential services, as well as winter supplies for camps, according to a government official.
The Joint Crisis Coordination Centre (JCC) on Tuesday reported that a total of 3,114 Syrian families, equivalent to 15,538 individuals, are currently residing in refugee camps in the Kurdistan Region, and more continue to arrive through “informal routes in the Sehela and Al-Walid villages at the border,” with a daily average of 150-200 individuals since the beginning of Turkey’s military offensive on northeastern Syria last month.
Hoshang Mohammed, Director General of the JCC, warned “Syrian refugees inside the camps in the Kurdistan Region require essential services and winter requirements such as heaters and kerosene,” urging local and international donors to provide additional aid.
“The Bardarash refugee camp requires proper WASH services, sanitation facilities, and shelter in preparation for winter,” added Mohammed. The Bardarash camp was established in 2014 for internally displaced persons escaping the Islamic State and its infrastructure, tents, and facilities were not made for long-run suitability.
According to the JCC’s report, “most of the population are women, children, and the elderly, and they need special care and attention, particularly during the winter season as temperatures dramatically drop and the majority of them unable to care for their families’ winter needs; they have no source of income and they are highly dependent on the assistance that they are provided.”
Mohammed also noted new Syrian refugees arriving in the Kurdistan Region are claiming there are strict security controls at the border inside Syria which are preventing people from fleeing and that some have paid smugglers around 250USD per person to help them reach the border.
Out of the total number of Syrian refugees in the Kurdistan Region, over 12,000 refugees are sheltered in Bardarash Camp, and over 2,000 new refugees are staying at the Gawilan Camp. Some 180 new refugees are at the Domiz camp and the rest, around 2,000, are spread across cities.
Over the past few years, the Kurdistan Region has been home to 1.8 million IDPs and refugees who fled from Syria and other parts of Iraq. Nearly four million Iraqis were displaced when the terror group emerged in northern Iraq in mid-2014.
Editing by Nadia Riva