The severe storms that occurred in Northern and Central Iraq in mid-April caused massive ﬂooding and damaged the homes of hundreds of families. The Rawanduz District and Warte sub-district of Erbil were particularly affected on Friday, April 22, with severe rainstorms ﬂooding a large portion of the Erbil governorate.
IOM responded to the crisis in these districts rapidly, as ﬁeld staff had already been monitoring the situation created by the ﬂoods, and thus were well-prepared to conduct a rapid assessment of the damages and needs of the ﬂood victims. IOM, along with the Governorate Emergency Cell and the mayor of Rawanduz district and Warte sub-district, found that 21 families living in Rawanduz and Warte were in need of urgent humanitarian assistance to help them recover from the damage wrought by the storm.
IOM immediately mobilized supplies and distributed relief packages to the 21 families on Tuesday, April 26, in coordination with UNHCR and UNICEF. From the IOM emergency warehouse, families received bed frames, pillows, plastic sheets, plastic furniture, an ice chest, and a gas stove. UNICEF contributed hygiene kits to the distribution as well, as part of an ongoing partnership with IOM in this regard. These supplies will ease the most acute burdens created by the ﬂooding, and will drastically improve quality of life for affected families while they work to rebuild their damaged homes and communities.
The distribution was attended by representatives from the local media, as well as the mayor of Rawanduz. In addition, many local community members volunteered to help IOM with the distribution, adding to the overall success and efﬁciency of the endeavor.
By utilizing the funding for IOM’s emergency distributions provided by USAID’s Ofﬁce of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), IOM remains prepared to respond to the needs of vulnerable populations, should ﬂooding occur in other areas of Iraq.