Tuesday, 15 November 2016 19:09

A communications lifeline for newly-displaced families who’ve fled Mosul conflict

A new initiative is being launched today (Tuesday 15 November) aiming to help families who’ve been newly-displaced as a result of the Mosul offensive get easier access to accurate and timely information.

Over the past four weeks, since the offensive began, more than 49,000 people have been displaced. Many left with very few belongings and little information about what is going on and what the future holds for them.
Families, who spent more than two years under the control of armed groups, have spoken of tight restrictions and curtailed freedoms, as well as lack of access to impartial information.
Now, one initiative starting in Hasansham camp for displaced Iraqis, newly-built by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is aiming to give families a communications lifeline.
One Iraqi radio station, Radio Nawa, will be distributing two thousand small transistor radios, so that people can listen-in to unbiased, non-partisan information service, take part in radio phone-ins, raise questions or comments, and engage on-air with local and central government officials and the Iraqi security forces.
Radio Nawa, a Sulaymaniyah-based public service radio operating a Kurdish and Arabic service across Iraq, has installed a new transmitter to reach the camp, which houses more than 10,000 people.
This pilot scheme is part of a project, supported by BBC Media Action, intended to provide access to information and encourage the re-integration of communities who formerly lived under the control of militant groups, back into Iraqi society.
Working with UNHCR and the Barzani Charity Foundation, BCF, Nawa will deliver radio kits for many of the families staying at the camp.
“Radio Nawa offers participatory phone-in programmes, through which these families can make their voices heard” said Handrin Osman, the manager of Radio Nawa. “It is very important in terms of letting displaced Iraqis once again feel part of Iraqi society and engage with each other and with officials”.
“Accurate, unbiased and non-partisan information is key to the ability of people, who have been forced to flee their homes and are often traumatised, to make informed decisions about their future” says Abir Awad, Country Director for BBC Media Action.
“UNHCR is very pleased to play a role in this initiative”, said UNHCR’s Representative in Iraq, Bruno Geddo. “People have been living in an information black-out for more than two years. This project can help them realise that their voices will not go unheard.”

For further information:
BBC Media action: Abir Awad This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Radio Nawa: Shwan Rahman +964 770 104 0216
UNHCR: Caroline Gluck This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. +964 780 920 7286

Additional Info

  • Agency: UNHCR

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