photo: Eddy van Wessel


Saturday, April 16, 2016

Don’t make refugees completely dependent on aid

“Many people here don’t even have money to buy bread,” the manager of the camp at the outskirts of Ainkawa, the Christian neighbourhood of Erbil, told me, as some inhabitants forced themselves into his office to see who had come to visit and what she had brought for them.

The camp with its caravans holds Christians who fled for ISIS from Mosul and the Christian towns and villages near to it, many of whom have been stuck here for over eighteen months waiting to be able to return.

In the beginning their camp was one of the best supplied in the region, as NGO’s and a local church were happy to look after the inhabitants and brought them what they needed.

But when I visited the camp recently, most of that was past. The former NGO darlings no longer had anyone regularly supplying them, apart from the food aid offered by the UN-organisation UNHCR, next to a bit of money collected during church service. 
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