Wednesday, 01 February 2017 03:00

IOM and Iraq MoMD Strengthen Partnership to Rapidly Expand Emergency Sites

Iraq, 31 January 2017 - Over 20,300 displaced Iraqis are now taking shelter at Al-Qayara emergency site and 1,770 at Haj Ali emergency site,
both in Ninewa governorate, Iraq. The sites are constructed by IOM in cooperation with the Government of Iraq’s Ministry of Displacement and Migration (MoMD). All of these families fled their homes due to military operations in the Mosul corridor; many are from the city of Mosul.

Early this week IOM shelter engineers and MoMD engineers conducted a joint workshop and visit to Al-Qayara site, to look at the overall camp design, construction modality and storm drainage mechanisms to manage emergency sites and camps with a long term operational approach, in order to prevent flooding in winter season rains.

Mr. Qahtan Hadi Talib, Director General for MoMD Planning Department and Chief of Engineering Department of MoMD, said: “There is a very useful exchange of skills and experience between MoMD and IOM engineers because our goals are the same: to support the displaced families and to provide acceptable living conditions with dignity.”
“We are pleased to review the design of the IOM and MoMD camps together, including the water drainage system and the design of the tents. Lessons from these designs will be applied to improve other MoMD and partners' camps. MoMD will continue to support IOM by facilitating relations with local authorities and handling any movement and security challenges,” said Mr. Talib.

The population of the emergency sites has rapidly increased since welcoming the first arriving families in December 2016; both sites are undergoing rapid construction and expansion in preparation for expected displacement from the western portion of the city of Mosul.

Al-Qayara emergency site, built on an airstrip, currently has more than 4,500 tents fully prepared, 7,000 plots prepared, and is being expanded to 10,000 plots; following expansion it will be one of the largest shelter emergency sites in Iraq. Haj Ali emergency site currently has more than 1,000 plots prepared and is being expanded to 7,500 plots. Combined the sites will have capacity to host over 100,000 individuals.

MoMD has contributed 8,000 tents to the two sites; 1,500 tents are currently set up in Haj Ali, and 3,200 are set up in Al-Qayara.

Emergency sites are progressively being upgraded. Haj Ali is now equipped with electrified streetlights, and Al-Qayara streetlights are on in sectors A-E where residents are staying. The streetlights, funded by the Government of Germany, are important for residents' safety, especially at night when they step out of their tents to use latrines and washing facilities.

IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Lothar Weiss said, “Establishing these urgently needed emergency sites requires technical expertise and cooperation between the government, humanitarian organizations, local partners and donor governments. IOM is pleased to cooperate with Iraq’s MoMD to rapidly provide properly designed emergency sites, in our joint efforts to shelter displaced Iraqis fleeing the ongoing conflict in Mosul corridor.”

IOM staff are setting up additional tents, delivering non-food item (NFI) kits, and providing psychosocial and health services, in cooperation with the Ninewa Department of Health. The emergency sites are managed by humanitarian partner agencies.

A father of a family who arrived to Al-Qayara emergency site on Sunday recounted his family’s journey. He spoke with IOM staff while his sister was receiving assistance from an IOM doctor at the Al-Qayara site health clinic, funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID).

“We crossed through Mosul at midnight. After we walked for half a kilometer, a bomb exploded and my uncle passed away. We walked for another half kilometer, it started raining and it was very cold. On the way, we buried my sister, who was also killed by an explosion.

“We were walking the whole night from Mosul to Aljboory. It was morning when we arrived to Aljboory, and it was still rainy and cold; there another one of my sisters passed away due to the hardship of the journey.

“Before we arrived to the security forces, my mother became tired, we had to wrap her with a blanket and carry her. We were walking for a few minutes and then resting; it took us about five hours to reach the security forces. The women could not walk with their boots on, the mud had ruined them, so they had to continue walking barefoot.

“When we reached the Security Forces point, they provided us with food, a heater and the children received treatment. We had some rest, and then they referred us to the hospital, where we stayed there for one day, and then brought us to this shelter site.”

Support for Mosul Crisis Response has been provided to IOM through financial and in-kind contributions from the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), DFID, the EU’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO), the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), UN-OCHA, and the Governments of Canada, Germany, Kuwait, New Zealand and Sweden.

The IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) Emergency Tracking has identified more than 163,100 individuals (over 27,190 families) who are still currently displaced by Mosul operations, from 17 October 2016 to 30 January 2017.

Of those currently displaced, 71 percent are living in camp settings, while 15 percent are living in private settings and 13 percent in emergency sites. Around 1 percent are living in critical shelter arrangements such as unfinished or repurposed buildings.

The latest DTM Emergency Tracking figures on displacement from Mosul operations are available at: 

Please click to download the latest:
IOM Iraq DTM Mosul Operations - Displacement Snapshot from 31 January 2017
IOM Iraq DTM Mosul Corridor Analysis from 30 January 2017

For further information, please contact IOM Iraq:
Sandra Black, Tel. +964 751 234 550, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Jennifer Sparks, Tel: +964 751 740 1642, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional Info

  • Agency: IOM

Home   |  UN Agencies in Iraq   |  UNAMI   |  Procurement   |  Job Opportunities   |  Contact us

Copyright © 2020 United Nations Iraq. All Rights Reserved.