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Detailed Report on the situation of IDPs in KR

One/ The IDP situation

As of the 9th of June, more than 120,000 Christians left their areas, homes, properties, business, and historical areas as a result of the control by ISIS of the city of Mosul and the Plain of Nineveh (PN)

The Christians took refuge in the cities and villages in Kurdistan Region( KR). They made their way to the churches that became packed with thousands of IDPs .Halls, gardens, incomplete building structures, schools, and catechism classrooms were full of them. About 120 Christian villages, that were once half empty, are now full of people.

Church Response

1. As of the first days of the crisis, a committee was set up comprising four catholic and non-Catholic bishops to manage the crisis and coordinate work with various organizations and institutions concerned with the IDP issues. The committee holds regular meetings or when necessary, to take the decisions required to cope with the crisis.

2. A committee was set up comprising priests, nuns, and laymen to follow up the activities of the IDP centers. There are 28 such centers in Erbil, 5 in Duhok, and more than 45 villages in Duhok and Zakho that are overcrowded with IDPs. There are also about 700 families in Kurkuk and Sulaymaniah in addition to the families that live in rented houses all over Erbil, Duhok, and Sulamaiah. The committees work voluntarily 24 hours a day in those centers to follow up, coordinate relief aid, and provide the requirements of the IDPs voluntarily.

3. A data-base was prepared for the IDPs. Statistical information is now available providing information on 95% of the IDPs from various areas.

4. An account number was opened to accept donations from churches and individuals. The funds raised are spent on the urgent needs of the IDPs regardless of the church they belong to. Part of the funding is also spent on the Yezidi IDPs who live in the Christian IDP centers. We hope donations will be made to the committee in a direct way. The funds raised are spent on food and medication according to a very transparent accounting system. Donors can be provided with the required financial reports when requested.

5. Each IDP family living in Erbil will be provided with a rations card this week to ensure that food supplies and other aid reache the families.

6. The areas of Zakho and Duhok need big efforts because the IDPs are distributed over a wide area and in small and dispersed remote villages.

As of the first day of the crisis, the church started to organize the welfare of the IDPs from various aspects:

One : reception of the IDPs and finding an accommodation for them.

Two : ensuring that food supplies reached everybody.

Three: demanding the IDP rights from the federal government and KRG .

Four: help covey the voice of the Christians and their plight to the international community.

The situation, however, is very dire. As for accommodation, a majority of the IDPs live in public parks, halls, and schools. This poses a big problem because schools have already started and it is already necessary to evacuate the public buildings and schools. On the other hand, winter is approaching and it is impossible for the families to remain in the parks during the harsh winter.

The government of Iraq is hardly doing anything alleviate the plight of the IDPs. Compensating the families by ID 1000,000 (US$ 850) is carried out on a very slow pace and according to a very impractical mechanism.

Two: Aid:  There are two kinds of aid that need to be dealt with:

A.Urgent humanitarian aid for (6-9) months

Food Aid:

There is a need for food aid and other life preservants for more than 25,000 families displaced to Duhok, Erbil, Sulaymaniah, and Kirkuk. During the first days of the crisis many humanitarian aid arrived through charity organizations but were soon consumed. The main warehouse in Ankawa has not been supplied with aid for almost the last three weeks. The bishops committee can only afford buying some urgent items. The committee established a central warehouse to receive aid and distribute it on the IDP centers where ever they are . We try to urge everybody to help us in providing the needs of the families.

+ Bashar Warda CSsR

Chaldean Archdiocese of Erbil