DRC provides lifesaving aid to displaced in Sinjar

For the first time since the self-proclaimed Islamic State took control of Sinjar district in Northern Iraq, the Danish Refugee Council has delivered vital food and aid to over 1,000 highly vulnerable Iraqi displaced in an area that has been cut off from humanitarian assistance since August 2014.

A joint military operation by Kurdish Military Forces earlier this month pushed back IS forces from the area. Within 12 hours of receiving word that access to Sinjar was possible, DRC dispatched field teams to distribute three-day food rations, female hygiene kits, and blankets to men, women and children from Qabusyiyah, a small village approximately 10 kilometres North from Sinjar.

“As soon as we arrived with the emergency aid we were immediately approached by a man who said ‘Thank you, Thank you’, in English” said Dave Westervelt, DRC Iraq Livelihoods and Cash Project Manager.

The distribution took place November 17 and 18 in the mosque of Gur Vir, a village near Zummar Town, where the families have sought refuge. Sinjar is home to Iraq’s Yazidi minority who has suffered since ISIS overran the area 14 months ago, systematically killing and raping many.

Since the beginning of the Iraq conflict over 3.2 million people have been displaced within the country. Over 8.7 million people are in need of assistance.
DRC’s intervention in Sinjar was coordinated through the Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM). RRM is a partner network with World Food Program and UNICEF that aims to provide emergency relief to displaced populations in Iraq within 72 hours of displacement.

DRC has been operational in Iraq since 2003 and is committed to responding to the needs of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and Syrian refugees using a multi-sectorial approach throughout its emergency response and humanitarian programming.