Tuesday, 12 February 2019 14:06

UNHCR Stands with Refugees and Displaced Iraqis to Tackle Winter Conditions in Iraq

Baghdad, 12 February 2019: Winter conditions in Iraq are harsh, especially for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in tents in the mountainous areas of the Kurdistan Region, where temperatures drop below freezing level. Throughout the winter season, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is aiming to reach 154,950 refugee and IDP families in camps and urban areas, to provide them both with in kind and cash support.

UNHCR’s programme is designed to give families the option to buy what they need to shelter from the elements and keep themselves warm. The families benefiting from this programme are particularly vulnerable. Many of them have exhausted their resources, and rely on humanitarian assistance.

“My husband lost his job and we did not know how to afford the things we need for the cold months” said 45 year-old Najiba Mahmood, a Syrian refugee residing in Domiz-1 camp in Dohuk Governorate. “With the cash I have been given, I will purchase what I need to keep myself and my family warm.”

Refugee families in camps and urban areas received a one-off cash grant of USD 400, while IDP families living outside of camps received USD 200. In all, 87,813 Syrian refugee and IDP families received their one-off cash grant as of end of January 2019. Cash grants are delivered through a mobile wallet, which is created by the financial service providers when registering identified refugees and IDPs. Individuals can then cash out the grants through certified mobile money agents. Hotlines have been set up to allow beneficiaries to seek assistance or report any complaints or problems faced in receiving their grants.

Through its partners, UNHCR also distributed core relief items (CRIs) such as blankets, plastic sheets, jerry cans for kerosene, and heating stoves. The distribution of CRIs began in November and as of end of January 378,434 persons had been reached, comprising of 309,054 IDPs and 69,380 refugees.

“Living under a tent is not easy, all the more so in cold weather. UNHCR is reaching a record number of persons in need with winter cash and core relief items across Iraq. This will make their living conditions more bearable, allowing them to continue being productive throughout the winter” said UNHCR Representative in Iraq, Mr. Bruno Geddo.

Media Coverage/Queries :

Rasheed H Rasheed This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +964 750 713 0014 (Duhok)
Alejandro Staller This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . +964 780 921 73 40 (Baghdad)
Imene Trabelsi This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +964 772 616 3724 (Erbil)

Additional Info

  • Agency: UNHCR

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