[Iraq] PWJ is Assisting Increasing Syrian Refugees in Northern Iraq
Peace Winds Japan (PWJ), as an implementing partner of UNHCR, has been responding to the influx of Syrian refugees caused by Turkey’s invasion of the Kurdish region of northern Syria since October 14th. As of October 23rd, PWJ has set up 2,079 emergency tents in Bardarash Camp.
Bardarash Camp was established as an IDP camp from a previous humanitarian crisis in 2014. After the return of IDPs and integration of several camps, Bardarash Camp has been unoccupied for more than two years. As a result, there are various needs including the rehabilitation of toilets, showers, water tanks, pipes, etc. Adding to the list of issues, winter season is arriving in northern Iraq, and the temperature rapidly decreases at night.
“I need to carry water from another block.”
“They finally repaired my toilet today, but the floor needs to be repaired too.”
“My children need warm clothes as it is cold at night.”
These are some of the concerns voiced by the refugees. Fortunately, all humanitarian actors are coordinating daily and working hard to improve the situation as quickly as possible.
A man who spoke English fluently told us his story. “Back in my home in Qamishli, Syria, we heard a lot of close bombing sounds. We were anxious and we couldn’t sleep. I worked in the government as an agricultural engineer, but I left all of my properties and my job and we desperately fled to the border. Tomorrow, my mother and sisters will arrive and I need to find a job.” Although the life in the refugee camp is not easy, we saw relief and optimism in his demeanor.
The total number of refugees that have crossed the Syria-Iraqi border between October 14th-24th is 10,168 individuals. On October 24th alone, 1,738 refugees arrived and the daily number is increasing. Bardarash Camp is expected to reach full capacity by October 26th. PWJ will begin preparation of emergency tents in Gawilan Camp today and our staff will work through the weekend to help the refugees.
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