Iraqi refugees who fled ISIS living in the Kurdish region of Garmiyan. Photo: (Ruadw)
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—Thousands of Iraqi refugees in three camps in the Kurdish Garmiyan region live in dire conditions without services, saying they have been forgotten by the Iraqi government.
“There is no electricity, and our children and patients are living in bad conditions,” Hamdan Nawar, a refugee at Taza De camp told Rudaw.
The nearly 11,000 refugees are Iraqis who have fled Islamic State (ISIS) territories or the ongoing war between Iraqi security forces and the radical group.
Taza De camp was established by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee (UNCHR) and it houses around 400 families from Anbar and Salahaddin provinces.
They have been provided with good housing quarters but lack of electricity in the summer heat is their nightmare.
Afrasiaw Mohammed, head of Taza De camp believes that it is the responsibility of the federal government to provide for these refugees since they are Iraqi citizens displaced by war.
But, he adds, the government has failed to deliver any assistance to the camps and therefore non-governmental organizations have stepped in to help.
“The Iraqi government delivered food stuff only once to the refugees, covering their need for one month only,” Mohamed told Rudaw.
Mohammed said that their calls for electricity have also fallen on deaf ears.
“We have asked them several times to bring a generator in order to provide the refugees with electricity, but they have not provided anything,” he added.
The Kurdistan Region is home to more than 1.8 million Iraqi and Syrian refugees who live in camps in all corners of the autonomous region.
Three of these camps are in Khanaqin, Qoratu and Kalar.
UN officials expect more refugees to head to the Kurdistan Region from Mosul as Iraqi and coalition forces gear up for an offensive to drive ISIS from the city.
Kurdish officials reported recently that nearly 7,000 refugees have already fled Mosul and sought shelter in camps on the Kurdish borders.
A US-led fundraising campaign last week succeeded in raising $2 billion to help Iraq deal with its humanitarian crisis including refugees and their return to liberated areas.