Sunday, 06 November 2016 10:07

New UNHCR Hasansham camp receives 3,000 people as thousands of Iraqis continue to flee Mosul

Erbil, Iraq, 4 November 2016 - UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, has opened a new camp in Hasansham to house newly-displaced Iraqi families fleeing the military offensive in Mosul. Some 3,000 people were received at the camp today and all families are being allocated a tent and receiving assistance. At present 450 tents – enough to shelter 2,700 people – are available and 500 tents will be erected per day to house additional arrivals. The camp will be able to house 1,800 families, almost 11,000 people.

Today’s new arrivals are among an estimated 8,000 people who arrived to Khazer and Hasansham camps in the past three days. Many have come from Gogjali and other areas on the eastern outskirts of Mosul, which saw fierce fighting three days ago and is now under the control of the Iraqi Security Forces.

Frederic Cussigh, UNHCR’s Senior Field Coordinator, who was in Hasansham Camp as it opened and witnessed the arrivals said: “People arrived with nothing or next to nothing, exhausted but relieved to find safety and receive help. Everyone who arrived today will be allocated a tent and receive water and a hot meal,” he said.
Sultan Ghassem, a 47 year-old metalworker from Gogjali, Mosul, said: “We left home three days ago to escape the mortars falling all around us. For the last two years we haven’t had even the basics of life, only oppression. There was no money, no work. We sold everything we owned just to eat. The only reason nothing happened to me is because I stayed in my home all the time. When we left Mosul and came here, it felt like passing from the darkness into the light”.

Shmala Hamdi, a housewife (50) and also from Gogjali said: “We spent two days hiding in a corner of our house sheltering from the bullets and bombs. We left our home this morning as soon as the fighting was over we fled and came straight to this camp. The last two and a half years have been no kind of life. We weren’t allowed out of the house, and the boredom ate away at our souls. Now we feel safe, and I’m looking forward to sleeping properly for the first time in months. I’m worried about living in a tent during winter, but as soon as it’s safe we will go back home”.

Hasansham is one of 11 camps UNHCR is building in order to respond to an anticipated large-scale displacement from Mosul. Five camps are now ready to receive people fleeing the city.

FOR MORE INFORMATION
Caroline Gluck This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +964 780 920 7286 twitter: @UNHCRIraq #MosulAid
Andreas Needham This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +964 780 920 7282 twitter: @UNHCRIraq #MosulAid

UNHCR Iraq Representative Bruno Geddo is available for interview (English, French, Italian).

Additional Info

  • Agency: UNHCR

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