Friday, 06 November 2015 11:04

UNHCR launches programme to help vulnerable families cope with winter

Baghdad, 05 November 2015 - The UN refugee agency this week launched its winter assistance programme to help displaced Iraqis and refugee families

survive freezing temperatures expected in the coming months.
Over the next four months, UNHCR will distribute winter items to some 60,000 internally displaced families (360,000 people) and 10,400 Syrian refugee families (60,000 people) countrywide. In total, 420,000 people will receive the winter kits, comprising high thermal blankets, a stove, a plastic sheet to improve insulation and retain heat, a water and a kerosene jerry can.
Additionally, some 13,000 vulnerable displaced families living in camps will be provided with tent insulation kits, consisting of polystyrene boards for floor insulation, as well as an insulated fabric liner to reduce heat loss through the tent walls.

Another component of our winter assistance programme is to complement the Iraqi Government's provision of heating fuel to internally displaced Iraqis. Families living in tents require 100 litres of kerosene on a monthly basis for a total of four months to keep warm. UNHCR had hoped to give kerosene to 60,000 and 33,000 of the most vulnerable displaced families and Syrian refugees respectively. Due to funding shortfalls, some 43,000 vulnerable families (378,000 people) and 12,500 Syrian refugee families (75,000 people) will face a shortage of fuel this winter.

“Across the country, countless displaced vulnerable families are facing dire living conditions. They find themselves particularly at risk during winter as temperatures drop below zero,” said UNHCR Iraq Representative Mr Bruno Geddo. “By distributing life-saving items, kerosene and cash, we seek to help them to stay warm through the winter. But we are unable to cover all the needs in kerosene and are appealing to the Government to distribute enough kerosene to cover the entire displaced population in Iraq,” he said.

Some 3.2 million people are currently internally displaced in Iraq, spread across more than 3,000 different locations across the country. Iraq also hosts some 245,000 Syrian refugees, the majority of which is living in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Every year, seasonal assistance is a key component of UNHCR’s programmes in Iraq. Last winter, UNHCR reached some 600,000 IDPs and 125,000 Syrian refugees with winter assistance.

For more information, please contact:
· Ali Bibi, Senior External Relations Officer: + 964 780 920 7267
· Natalia Micevic, Associate Reporting Officer: + 964 780 919 3947

Additional Info

  • Agency: UNHCR
Last modified on Friday, 06 November 2015 11:05

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