Since the start of 2014 more than 1.4 million Iraqis have left their homes because of fighting. Some 850,000 people, more than half of the total number, have been made homeless in the last two months. In parts of Iraq minority groups, like Yazidis and Christians, are under threat of forced conversion, fines and even death.
About 45 IDPs are now living in this open-fronted, half-built hotel building in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq.
Highlights of the Updates in Iraq
- Over 55,000 IDPs are reported to have crossed into Syria from Sinjar District, including many who were trapped on Sinjar Mountain. Most made their way back into Iraq through the Pesh Khabour checkpoint in the Kurdistan Region.
- Over 200,000 IDPs have entered Dahuk Governorate (Kurdistan Region) and are occupying schools, churches, mosques and unfinished buildings. Schools may not reopen on 10 September as scheduled, affecting over 850,000 children (Syrian refugees, Iraqi IDPs, Kurdish host community children).
- A water plant in eastern Mosul was partially destroyed by an airstrike, leaving large parts of the city without access to water. Food shortages are reportedly already occurring in Mosul as well. Millions of Iraqis may become severely food insecure later this year if these challenges are not resolved.
- The sub-district of Amirli, in Tooz district of Salah al-Din Governorate, has been surrounded by ISIS forces and completely inaccessible by road. An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people reportedly remain inside Amirli, primarily Turkmen Shiites. The humanitarian situation there is said to be deteriorating quickly.
- There is mounting evidence that women belonging to the Yazidi and Christian religious minorities in Iraq are being raped and sold into slavery by the Islamic State (ISIS). One of the first to speak out was Vian Dakheel, the only Yazidi female MP, who addressed the Iraqi parliament in early August.
- Ask God to stop the hand of those set on violence, bloodshed and intimidation in Iraq. Pray for the establishment of a lasting peace that all people groups will be accepted and protected.
- Pray for God’s protection to the minority ethnic and religious groups, especially the vulnerable children, women and elderly. Pray that those who are being raped and sold as slaves will be rescued soon.
- Pray for all those who have fled their homes and are living in fear and uncertainty. Ask God to keep them safe, provide for their needs and pour out His comfort and healing on all who are grieving.
- Thank God that tens of thousands of Iraqis were able to escape from Mount Sinjar, and pray for protection, provision and a rapid rescue for those who are still trapped.
- Lift up leaders in Iraq and around the world, praying that God will give them wisdom as they seek a solution to the crisis.
The Baharka camp, 5km north of Erbil in northern Iraq, is home to thousands of internally displaced people (IDPs) following the takeover of large swathes of the country by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).
Updates on Iraq Crisis
- The United Nations have declared a ‘Level 3 Emergency’, the highest level of humanitarian crisis, for Iraq. Three other crises in the world are currently sharing the same emergency status: Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
- The situation of displaced people on Sinjar Mountain remains of critical concern, in addition to helping meet the needs of a further 12,000 displaced Christians who are now sheltering in the Kurdish capital, Erbil.
- The Newroz camp in Syria currently hosts about 15,000 Yazidis from Iraq. After a few days at the camp, many refugees head back to Iraq to reunite with families in the Dohuk area of northern Kurdistan, but still thousands continue to come.
- Many refugee families have been separated, scattered between Sinjar, Syria and the Kurdistan region of Iraq; children have been torn from their parents — killed, kidnapped or disappeared in the chaos. Many refugees report they had to leave behind their elderly whom they could not carry. Others who made it safely to the camp gave reports of young girls and women forced to stay behind and being sold. Families say that their young men were killed.
In the past few days, various UN Agencies have responded as follows:
- UNCHR> providing shelter and relief items
- WFP> providing meals
- UNICEF> providing support to displaced children
- WHO> providing emergency health care
- UNFPA> distributing hygiene supplies, clothing and medical supplies
- IOM> transporting IDPs from affected areas to agreed safe areas, distributing non-food Item kits
*Integral Alliance (IA), a global alliance comprising of 19 Christian relief and development agencies, is now providing disaster responses to humanitarian crisis in Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic, and is closely monitoring the crisis in Iraq. CEDAR is one of the member agencies of Integral Alliance.
Updates on Iraq Crisis
- Following heavy fighting in Sinjar (Ninewa), nearly 200,000 people have been forced from their homes and are in urgent need of life-saving assistance.
- According to most recent report, thousands of families are still trapped on Sinjar Mountain without access to food or water, despite limited airdrops on 8 August.
- Between January to July 2014, an estimation of 1.2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) were seeking shelter in Northern Iraq. In addition to the current IDP crisis, the government of Kurdistan is also hosting 230,000 refugees from Syria.
- The refugees are now suffering from significant secondary displacement due to the fierce fightings near IDP locations in Ninewa and Dahuk Provinces.
Background on the crisis
Since this January, a large part of Anbar has been under ISIS control. This has led to approximately 560,000 Iraqi people fleeing to the northern part of Iraq. Following the fall of Mousal in June, an estimate of another 650,000 persons have fled to Kurdistan Region as well.