UK Funds IOM Clothing Distribution for Displaced Iraqis
Iraq - IOM began distribution of clothing vouchers this week for 6,350 displaced families in the cities of Dohuk and Erbil, Northern Iraq. Funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the USD 450 vouchers will enable displaced families to buy warm clothing to help them survive the winter.
The majority of the displaced fled their homes during the summer with little more than the clothing they were wearing and are unprepared for cold weather. Through IOM’s agreement with Maxi Mall in Dohuk and Erbil, voucher recipients can visit the store and choose from a variety of items that best meet their individual needs. Many are selecting shoes and winter jackets.
The scene from Maxi Mall in Dohuk was one of excitement as displaced families walked out with bags of clothing. Shaima Faisal from Mosul told IOM:
“My husband is sick, so when we fled our home my son and daughter had to carry him for two hours while we walked. We left with just the clothes we were wearing and our documents. With the cost of my husband’s medicine and our rent, we can’t afford anything, not even clothes. My daughter-in-law is expecting a child in two months – with this aid we can get baby clothes.”
The clothing voucher distribution is taking place over a period of two weeks in cooperation with local officials and community leaders, who helped IOM to identify the most vulnerable displaced people. Over 60 per cent of the vouchers have thus far been distributed.
IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Lothar Weiss said: “Many of the displaced people have lost everything; their homes, livelihoods and all their possessions. IOM Iraq offers a range of services to support displaced people through the winter months, including distribution of non-food relief item kits, winterized shelter, and fuel vouchers. We are pleased to carry out this clothing voucher distribution, but recognize that these people represent just a small portion of those in need. Additional funding is required, as thousands more displaced across the country still need help.”
According to IOM’s latest Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) over 2.17 million Iraqis have been displaced by the current conflict since January 2014. Of these, 30 per cent are in critical shelter arrangements, such as informal settlements, religious buildings, schools and unfinished buildings. Of the more than 462,000 displaced individuals in Dohuk governorate, over 193,000 are in critical shelter arrangements.
As part of the UN Humanitarian Country Team, IOM aims to assist 750,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) affected by the current crisis in Iraq. IOM Iraq’s funding requirements are USD 295.5 million; the IOM Iraq Appeal, as part of the UN Strategic Response Plan, is currently funded at 28 per cent.
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