Over the past 8 months, ACTED has provided World Food Programme food assistance to over 31,000 Syrian refugees in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Where few can forget recent images of the circumstances that Syrians in Yarmouk Camp were reduced to in desperate attempt to receive food distributions, the situation in the Iraqi Kurdistan could not provide a starker contrast: calm queues and food aplenty. Rice may not be what’s usually on the menu in their home country of Syria, but thousands of refugees living in camps in Iraqi Kurdistan have received food parcels from the World Food Programme, distributed by ACTED.
Several camps in the Iraqi Kurdistan were opened in the autumn of 2013 to house a mass influx of refugees who entered the region from 15th August. The months since then have seen the quality of life of camp inhabitants dramatically improved, not in the least due to a steady supply of food.
In the last 8 months, ACTED teams have distributed over 2500 metric tonnes of food to over 31,000 Syrian refugees in Basirma, Qushtapa, Arbat, Kawergosk, and Darashakran refugee camps, meeting each person’s daily needs.
Throughout these months distribution processes have been improved and more beneficiaries efficiently reached. This has culminated in ACTED producing a standard approach to distributions which has now been shared with organisations across Iraqi Kurdistan.
ACTED’s partnership with the World Food Programme to implement general food distributions has done more than simply bolster the food security of Syrian refugees. In a move to make the distribution process more accessible to those with vulnerabilities and disabilities, ACTED has employed tuk tuk drivers to deliver food parcels directly to tents, catering to the needs of every beneficiary as well as providing employment in the camp.
To involve the camp population more tightly in distributions, and give them a degree of ownership over the process, ACTED has hired an Accountability Officer and put into place complaints mechanisms – allowing everyone’s voices to be heard.