15 Nov 2014

DRC - Helping More Than 10,000 People Who Have Fled Conflict in Anbar Iraq

Tens of thousands of Iraqis who have fled their homes due to conflict have received vital relief items distributed by the Danish Refugee Council, DRC, and funded by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO).

The funding has enabled the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) to provide core relief items comprising food, essential household materials and hygiene kits for 1,750 displaced families, or approximately 10,500 individuals in Kerbala and Najaf.
The governorates of Kerbala and Najaf are currently hosting around 140, 000 displaced people. They have mostly arrived from the troubled governorate of Anbar. The IDPs are mostly residing in mosques and in pilgrim camps on the road from Kerbala and Najaf. Others are in towns on the border of Anbar and Kerbala as well as on the highway towards Baghdad.

Many families are enduring threats of eviction, fears of attack from armed opposition groups. They also face restriction of movement and difficulty in getting legal identification documents. Under these conditions, access to employment and basic services is limited.
“I own a truck which is now parked in Najaf. I cannot drive it here because my driving license was confiscated by the government” said a father of nine from Anbar. “This was my family’s main source of livelihood, but now everything is gone,” he said.

As the violence in Anbar shows no sign of abating, the influx of people to Kerbala, Najaf and other southern governorates will continue. The authorities must do the utmost to ensure passage and access to safe places for the distressed population”, said Allen Jelich, DRC’s Country Director.
DRC is working closely with the local authorities and community leaders in the central and southern governorates of Baghdad, Diyalla, Kerbala and Najaf to promote local acceptance and social cohesion among IDPs and the hosting communities
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