Emergency Appeal-Iraq


Project Title: Emergency Response to Refugees in Northern Iraq and Turkey
Project Duration: 6 months (February -July 2003)

Executing Agency: International Blue Crescent (Uluslararasi Mavi Hilal)

Bostanci Cami Str.Cesur Apt 11/3 Bostanci/Istanbul/Turkey
Phone:+90 216 4646881-2-3
Fax :+90 216 3615745

Number of Beneficiaries: 30.000 individuals


Northern Iraq is one of the most vulnerable regions in the case a war erupts. All indications show that war is inevitable. The only unknown thing is the date of the beginning of a war. People in Northern Iraq and South East Turkey are already under the mood of a war atmosphere .

Saddam Regime is expelling hundreds of Kurdish and Turcoman families south of the 36th parrallel to Northern Iraq and sends scores of Arab families and reettling them to different areas in the region. A buffer zone between Northern Iraq and Iraq has been established already and Saddam troops are just kilometers south of the buffer zone.

Since the first Gulf War in 1991 more than 800.000 internally displaced persons have been settled in towns and camps around Dohuk, Erbil and Suleimaniah included not only long-term internally displaced persons and persons displaced by Kurdish factional infighting but also more than 100.000 persons mostly Kurds, Turcomans and Assyrians more recently expelled from Central Goverment controlled Kirkuk and surrounding districts in the oil rich region bordering the Kurdish controlled North.

According to UNHCR estimations 500.000 people at least will move to the North in the case a war starts. Most of them will be from cities like Kirkuk and Mosul. People from the two provinces are already moving voluntarily to the North and stay with their Kurd and Turcoman relatives.There is a fear that Saddam will attack Kirkuk and Mosul first in order to destroy the oil industry and force the people leave the region. Saddam's background increases the fear of chemical or biological weapons use. That will increase enaourmosly the exodus to the North because in Iraq people look Northern part as a safe heaven and trust that USA and Turkish armies and Kurdistan Regional Goverment will protect them.

In the case of a mass exodus refugees will try to pass the Turkish and Iranian borders and flee to their safety.

Iran and Turkish goverments have declared that their prime objective will be to keep the refugees inside Northern Iraq close to the borders in the valley between Zaho-Suleimaniah.

The Turkish Red Crescent (TRC) with the support of the Turkish Goverment is planning to establish 14 camps in Northern Iraq with 3000 capacity each and 4 camps in the border inside Turkish soil.The total refugee unmber these camps will afford is 54.000. The capacity is very short to meet the requirements even now. Until the beginning of February TRC was able to erect only 5 camps in Northern Iraq and none in the Turkish soil.

There are some camps where the displaced people are settled already in Northern Iraq. The capacity of these camps is between 95000-110000. Emergency need for food,cloths etc for the internally displaced people in Northern Iraq exists already.

Access to Northern Iraq is through Zaho Turkey and Yerubiye (Syria). Access through Turkey is free but with the appropriate documents from the Turkish Foreign Ministry for the foreigners. For the Turks there is no restriction. For the people of Northern Iraq there is a need of a Turkish visa for free access.

Trade route from Turkey is the same and only UN and Turkish Goverment permitted trucks may have free pass to the North Part of Iraq and Iraq.

There is a new route established by Turkey and Iraq in the far west of Northern Iraq close to the Syrian border for free transport out of Kurdish Regional Goverment controll but doesn't operate now.

Communications is able through Turkish and UK mobile systems. But in a war atmosphere there will be a need of Thuraya or V=DDSAT systems in both sides of the region.

Access through Syria is permitted but the Syrian Goverment may change its approach if a war erupts.

According to IBC assesment there is a need of winter cloths,medicine,food emergency already. The stockpiles of food in Northern Iraq are enough for one and half month.The estimation doen't cover a new influx to the region.

The approximate population of the region is 3 million and in a new move of refugees happen

The half of the population will be without sheltering and basic survival opportunities.

After the danger of war increased people are desperately asking for gas masks and protective material too.

There are 36 hospitals,854 health centers and 2000 doctors in Northern Iraq. The facilities are in poor condition and not enough to deal with the health problems of the region.A mass exodus of refugees will eliminate their stocks and capacity.

IBC is planning to responde to the immediate needs of 12.000 refugees (9000 in Northern Iraq and 3000 in the Turkish soil) by undertaking the feeding, clothing and all other needs of three camps in Northern Iraq and one in the Turkish soil. The camps will belong to TRC or erected by IBC. The rest of 18.000 refugees will be the refugees who haven't been settled in camps but need emergency care as urgent food, blankets, medicine etc in both sides of the border.


IBC has a presence through local NGO's in Northern Iraq, Turcoman Helping Hands and Kurdish Democratic Front are IBC's local partners in Northern Iraq. Offices in Erbil, Suleimaniah and Zaho are available and distribution system for the current needs established. Assesment of 8000 families with full lists is already done. In Northern Iraq a volunteers chain established and more than 100 volunteers from Kurds and Turcomans will take part at an emergency operation during the refugee crisis.They have been registered through IBC local partners in Northern Iraq.

Kurdistan Regional Goverment and the Turkish authorities have been briefed about our plans and provided the necessary documents for our activities.

Cooperation agreements have been signed with the local NGO's and the Turkish Red Crescent for the moving,distribution and assement of the operation.

IBC is prepairing a warehouse and operation center in Silopi (closest town to the custom pass with Northern Iraq) for urgent involvement in the case of a war.

The system is avaliable to increase the capacity for treating more refugees as erecting new camps,feeding capacity and medical interference.In the warehouse ready to eat meals, blankets, winter cloths and medicine will be stocked for an emergency move.

IBC has emergency relief experience in Albania,Kosovo,Azerbaijan,Georgia (Refugee issues) and Turkey (Earthquake emergency and rehabilitation)

By providing assistance to Kurds and Turcomans (Assyrians and Khaldeans will added to the list) IBC focuses to the elimination of enmities and misunderstandings between the people in the region.

IBC 's priority is to serve the people in need no matter their ethnicity and religion.The focus to the children and gender issues will be on the top of the agenda.


The project aims to immediately alleviate human suffering through feeding winterization,provision of clothing and blankets and medicine to 30.000 refugees primarily. The refugees will be the settled in camps in Northern Iraq and Turkey (Total 12.000) and 18.000 need shelter in both sides.

The region is mountainous and winter season until may creating more problems to the refugees.

According to UN and international NGO's estimations more than 500.000 refugees are expected to run to Northern Iraq after the war starts.There is an existing number of 800.000 displaced people in Northern Iraq already.

The basic need during the influx will be emergency food, blankets and winter cloths for the first months and then repatriation of them to their homelands.

IBC through its operation chain will stock the above materials in the border region and run to the assistance of the refugees the soonest no matter where they are in Northern Iraq or Turkey soil.

Places where to involve have been assigned.The camps in Northern Iraq will be around Suleimaniah and Erbil. (Especialy in Koysancak region)

Camps in Turkey will be in Hakkari and Silopi regions. The relief operation for the dispersed and non organised refugees will be in Hakkari province-Turkey and Erbil province Northern Iraq.

The project adress one of the most immediate human needs in a cost-effective manner per beneficiary.

IBC has completed its agreements related to the planned operations with Turkish Red Crescent,Turcoman and Kurdish NGO s and the Kurdistan regional Goverment

Project Activities

The operation will last six months for 30,000 refugees. IBC will cooperate with Turkish, Kurdish authorities, the Turkish Red Crescent and Turcoman and Kurdish NGOs.A list of possible operation sites and camps has been prepared and assesment about transportation, local cooperation, warehouses, weather conditions, security and heakth has been completed. Possible contingency planning is almost completed. The beneficiaries of the project are the refugees left Saddam autority region to the North and from North to Turkey. Preferebly refugees settled in TRC camps will be the beneficiaries. In addition priority will be given to settle the people who are dispersed and don't have any place to live and they are not organized in settlements. We'll try to settle them in smaller camp compounds and provide them the basic relief as food, blankets and medicine.

The TRC and other state authorities in Turkey have decided to keep the camps until the repatriation of the refugees back. The minimum time for that is prognosed as six months.

IBC has secured three distribution centers in Northern Iraq and a field logistic center in Silopi.

IBC urgently needs to establish a permanent communication satellite system in Silopi, Suleimanieh and Erbil for communication during the war.An ordinary communication system through mobile phones is already existing. Adjacent to Silopi field center a ware house building has been identified and emergency relief will be stocked urgently. From Silopi Center the relief will be transferred to the border area until Hakkari to the East inside Turkey. Silopi and Hakkari camp sites will have temporary administration staff and office.An estimated 12 staff needed for the operation in the Turkish soil.

After the run of refugees with collabortaion with the Turkish authorities an identification and settlement operation will be conducted. In the case of need of settelement for the dispersed refugees temporary sites for camps will be provided by Turkish local authorities.

In addition with collaboration with TRC a camp erected by TRC ill be submitted to IBC's management. An approximate number of 100 volunteers mostly from Istanbul University will assist the operation.

A coordinator, permanent staff of IBC in Istanbul will survey the operation in Turkish soil on a weekly basis and he'll be fully authorized for any urgent changes.

For the stockpile of relief items to the Silopi warehouse and for the transporation offers have been collected and suppliers have been identified.

From Silopi warehouse trucks with relief will run to Suleimaniah and Erbil on a regular basis and unload the material to the distribution centers in these two cities. IBC staff with collabortaion with the two local partners wil coordinate the delivery and distribution to the three camps will be submitted by TRC to IBC and to Koysancak region-Erbil where dispersed refugees are seeking for urgent settlement and feeding.

In Northern Iraq the security will be provided by the Jurdish Democartic Front and Turcoman Front armed guards.There is a big danger fopr looting and for that reason armed protection is necessary.

The food distribution will be done through (Ready to Eat Meal Packages-one for 5 persons) per family basis daily.The packages don't need cooking or heating. The delivery is possible by ordinary trucks and there is no big garbage problem because they are in hygienic plastic bags.There is no need for utensils too.Only forks or spoons are enough.Blankets,winter clothes will be provided on mothly basis.Emergency medicine will be provided to health centers and hospitals directly.

The food ratio is calculated according to WFP rations. The children and gender will be in priority during the distribution.

The project will support the regional businesses and sellers too.

Wide range media coverage for the operation is planned in order to promote the funding partners' activities in the field.

Exit Strategy

At the end of July 2003 the moving of the refugees back is planned. IBC will look for the organization of the repatriation and rehabilitation of the refugees as a second project.I the case the refugees will stay longer IBC will extend its emergency operation.After the emergency IBC is willing to continue its cooperation with international partners for the reconstruction of the region.

The reconstruction process will contain the housing,rehabilitation of health centers and schools and small businesses.

IBC as is operating now will continue the relief for the displaced people until they resettled and being self sustainable.

Monitoring and Reporting

IBC Field Coordinator in Silopi will monitor the operation on weekly basis and provide reports,documentation and photos on weekly basis.A member of EXCOM IBC ill visit the field on monthly basis and prepare the detailed monthly report and submit to the funding partners. IBC will hire two independent accountants one in Turkey and the other in Northern Iraq to monitor and report on expenses on weekly basis.The reports will be sent directly to IBC headquarters in Istanbul for evaluation.

Funding partner will have access to any document related to the operation and be assisted by IBC for field visits and on site inspections.


Favorable issues:

  • The IBC has previous experience in emergency operations related to refugees and will be able to execute and manage this project is a professional manner.

  • IBC has established links and signed agreements with state and local authorities in Turkey and Northern Iraq and started cooperation with local NGO's of the most dominating population of Northern Iraq.

  • BC has identified the warehouse,camp sites,possible suppliers and transporters and established distribution centers inside Northern Iraq and in the Turkish soil.

  • IBC has settled the security of the relief operation with collaboration with the security forces in the field in both sides.

  • IBC staff is familiar with the developments in the region and have very well contacts with local powers.

Unfavorable Issues

  • The winter conditions cause transportation and access difficulties.

  • The war atmosphere may lead to delays of distributions to some areas.

  • The possibility of huge number of dispersed refugees makes difficult the assesment.

  • The lack of a powerfull authority in Northern Iraq creates problems of documentation and contingency.

  • The need to compile feeding,winterization and health issues makes more difficult IBC's operation and some times the targets may not be implemented on time.

  • The possibility of closing the border may cause delays to provide relief to Northern Iraq and for that reason a substancial stockpile in Silopi and Northern Iraq is needed.

  • Anarchy and terror continues in Northern Iraq and Al Kaida attacks may occure.

  • The treat of a chemical or biological bomb is forcing people to leave their jobs and we may have recruitment problems some times.

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