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Refugee camp in northern Iraq struggling with shortage of supplies, water

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Refugee camp in northern Iraq struggling with shortage of supplies, water

2024-06-08 20:28 Last Updated At:21:47

Displaced people in a refugee camp in northern Iraq are still struggling with shortages of supplies and water, while many in the camp see little hope of returning to regular life.

The Khazer Refugee Camp is one of the four refugee camps established in northern Iraq by the Government of Kurdistan Region, the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations. It gathers a large number of displaced people who were forced to flee due to attacks by extremist organizations. Now, these refugees are facing severe challenges to survival.

Khazer Camp was established in 2014 to provide emergency assistance and humanitarian shelter for displaced persons. Since then, the camp has expanded several times and can accommodate up to 30,000 displaced persons.

After the Iraqi government announced the victory of the anti-terrorism war against extremist organizations in 2017, some people began to move out of the camps and returned home.

However, according to figures released by the International Organization for Migration in November last year, more than 1 million people are still displaced in Iraq. They have been hampered from returning to their homes due to insecurity, lack of livelihoods, and the destruction or damage of their homes.

Nearly 640 households are still staying at Khazer Camp. One displaced man said that three or four years ago, humanitarian agencies in the United States and many European countries suddenly cut off their assistance to the camp, and the current living conditions of people in the camp have been deteriorating ever since.

"We have lived in this hot weather for more than 20 days. There is no generator or gasoline. We are also running short of water. There is not much water even in the well. There is a well there, but we need electricity to be able to draw the water. How can we get water without electricity? It is an impossible situation. Now almost everyone here is unemployed, no salary, nothing left for people. We can only rely on God and hope to get help from the good people and good organizations. The situation here is very bad now," he said.

In the central area of ​​the camp, a small grocery shop sells vegetables and fruits to the displaced people. The shop is built with worn-out iron sheets and wooden boards.

"The situation in the camp is very bad. Deplorable conditions. Although few have come, we keep calling for assistance, but we have not received any reasonable response. It is difficult to run this store, not many people come to buy. We don't have enough money for the store to bring in many goods. Although we have purchased some goods and lowered the prices to provide convenience to people, they are unable to buy much due to lack of money. Yes, they would buy things, but very few. This is how we're suffering now," said the store owner.

The situation for children at the camp is even more worrying. They lack a safe space for activities and cannot receive education. Many are malnourished.

Meanwhile, some young people and children at the camp are still facing the problem of identity loss, making it even more difficult to make their way back home.

"I came to Khazer Camp in 2016 when the camp just opened for receiving refugees. Now I am a young man, already grown. I want to leave the camp, but I can't, because I don't have any identifying documents. My father died when I was just born, so I never had the opportunity to get an ID. I am not the only one facing this problem. Some children were born during the invasion of northern Iraq by extremist groups. They did not get any ID as well. What we care about most and what we want most is to get ID so that we can leave this camp and have a new start. I don't want to keep asking for water and electricity supply and don't want to spend the rest of our life here. We must leave the camp to have a future," said a young man at the camp.

In April this year, the Iraqi Ministry of Immigration and Displaced Persons announced that it would close all refugee camps in the Kurdish region by the end of July and take necessary measures to allow the displaced persons to return home safely.

As of last November, the ministry closed 144 refugee camps out of 170 across the country during the past few years.

Refugee camp in northern Iraq struggling with shortage of supplies, water

Refugee camp in northern Iraq struggling with shortage of supplies, water

Next Article

Premier Li urges high-quality development to further deepen reform comprehensively

2024-07-22 22:24 Last Updated At:22:57

Chinese Premier Li Qiang has called for efforts to push forward high-standard opening-up and actively explore and innovate to motivate more momentum and vitality, so as to advance high-quality development in further deepening reform comprehensively.

Li, also a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, made the remarks during a research trip to north China's Tianjin Municipality on Monday.

Li first visited the core area of the Tiankai Higher Education Innovation Park, where he learned about the park's construction and operation, and had talks with researchers and heads of sci-tech financial institutions as well as start-ups.

Saying that the key to fostering new growth drivers and developing new quality productivity lies in reform and innovation, Li underlined staying focused on integrated development of sci-tech innovation and industrial innovation, therefore building a more efficient and attractive sci-tech innovation platform.

He called for more support for small and medium-sized sci-tech firms and incentives for sci-tech personnel in terms of policies and funding, so as to promote the application of scientific and technological advances, and accelerate the development of new quality productivity.

The park, inaugurated in May, was established through the collaboration of Tianjin-based top-notched universities including Tianjin University and Nankai University.

Li then visited the branch of the world-leading elevator manufacturer Otis and CDHorizon, a world's top integrated equipment operation service provider, in the Binhai New Area.

Li urged efforts to make good use of policies for supporting the large renewal of equipment and to support enterprises in promoting the new application of artificial intelligence, so that more enterprises and products with core competitiveness can compete to emerge.

The premier also highlighted innovative use of financial leasing and other financial instruments, thus better serving the real economy.

Li called on the Binhai New Area to take the lead in better stimulating impetus and vitality in deepening reform, underlining the reform in institutions and mechanisms of the pilot free trade zone, financial innovation and development, and high-level opening up to the outside world.

Li also emphasized the need to accelerate the integrated development of ports, industries and cities by leveraging strengths and characteristics, in order to integrate resources and enhance their role in promoting the coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region.

Fully acknowledging Tianjin's achievements in socio-economic development, Li expressed his hope that the municipality will forge ahead and constantly scale new heights in promoting high-quality development.

Premier Li urges high-quality development to further deepen reform comprehensively

Premier Li urges high-quality development to further deepen reform comprehensively

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