Relief efforts for Yazidi refugeesOctober 30, 2014
IAHV is working in partnership with Art of Living Foundation to bring relief to refugees and internally displaced people (IDP). From its base in Erbil, the team has brought relief in the form of food, water and hygiene products to 5 different camps, each camp sheltering 550 Iraqi families. IAHV has reached more than 2,000 families.
IAHV with the help of few NGOs collected more than 110 tons of relief material (food, water, winter clothing, tents etc) which was air dropped by the army on Mount Sinjar in Northern Iraq. Click here for pictures
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is visiting Iraq to meet with government and religious leaders, visit relief camps, raise awareness and mobilize effective responses.
IAHV is hosting a conference on “Protecting Women and Bringing Stability and Peace” on November 20th in Erbil which will be attended by various government, religious and civil society leaders. They will also discuss strategies for providing humanitarian support for the Yazidi community.
The living conditions of the refugees are extremely poor. In Duhok there are 100,000 refugees, and only one small camp. Most of the refugees are not living there but on the streets or in unfinished buildings because the camp is in terrible condition. It is very unhygenic; there are no blankets, coolers or food. There are no bathrooms or toilets. The children are all getting skin disease because of the unhygienic conditions. Currently, they lack even the most basic items for survival, such as food, clothing and hygienic kits. They are in a very poor psychological state. One such example is of a refugee who had 37 people in the family taken by ISIS. Thousands of women are abducted, gang-raped and sold in markets. Duhok needs additional camps with conditions that meet basic human needs to be lived in.
The IAHV team also went to Mount Sinjar to visit the camps where Yazidis have taken refuge. Two graduates of IAHV’s Community Leadership Training program interviewed Yazidi families to document their plight and need for immediate aid. One of the graduates and her father, Bareza, are taking much needed action to aid the Yazidis. Additionally, three Kurdish Members of Parliament who recently participated in IAHV’s TLEX training in late June 2014 also came to the aid of refugees visiting the camps, meeting refugees and assessing their needs and distributing relief items.
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