Action Against Hunger helps refugees in Iraq

Crisis deepens for Iraq's displaced

"Our situation is extremely complicated here,” says Yousef Ismail, 45, from Qanasour in Sinjar, Iraq. "With the winter arriving soon it will be even tougher: we have no fuel, no heater and no winter clothes."

By Action Against Hunger

Dec 1 2015

Yousef had to flee his home with his family and is now living as an internally displaced person in Sheikhan camp in Ninewa, Iraq.

“We can't afford to buy what we need and we accumulate debts," Yousef says. "We know that we are displaced people, the lowest of all, but if you can do something for us, now is the time, because the situation is getting worse. We left everything behind us a year ago and don’t see any possibility of going back.”

Yousef holds out his left hand. “I was injured during the war against Iran in the 1980s. I can no longer use this hand or do any proper work and I don’t have a pension.

“I have one son, one daughter and a cousin already in Europe. They now all live in Germany, they left a year ago already and they tell us their situation is so good compared to ours. In Germany, people don’t care about your religion unless you’re a problem maker. Of course, if the situation degrades here, we’ll have to figure out something, we can’t live eternally like this and our house in Sinjar is destroyed.”

Yousef and his family have been supported by Action Against Hunger for over a year. After fleeing Sinjar they went to the city of Zakho where Action Against Hunger was distributing groceries and food vouchers. Since arriving in Sheikhan camp, which opened in April 2015, they have continued to receive food.

“We are very grateful to Action Against Hunger,” Yousef says, “but our situation is becoming more complicated.

“We are 100 per cent dependent on aid here. We cannot work. I am already in lots of debt and I need to pay for surgery for my wife."

“When I pray to my god, I wish he’d give us the chance to reach a safe place where no one will try to kill us, where our children can study and work."

There are around 1000 families living in Sheikhan camp. 

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Image: F.Seriex for Action Against Hunger