Through the "READY" preparedness and disaster response fund set up by the French Red Cross, the Sanofi Espoir Foundation is providing aid to Iraqi Kurdistan refugees.
Since the beginning of 2014, the worsening situation in Iraq has driven more than two million Iraqi refugees onto the roads at the country’s borders. 46% of them have found refuge in Iraqi Kurdistan, an area protected by armed opposition groups. These refugees have joined the many displaced victims of the clashes in Syria, and the region faces considerable difficulties in coping with this increase in population. A number of refugees have had to take over substandard buildings as makeshift homes with high security and health risks.
To respond to this crisis, the READY fund decided to launch a field action to support Syria’s displaced populations in Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon.
The French Red Cross (CRF) in partnership with the Iraqi Red Crescent has been active in the district of Sharya since late 2013. The villages targeted by the CRF action are isolated; the buildings are in poor condition, and the refugees suffer from a lack of basic necessities. They are also entirely dependent on outside help. The CRF is focusing on improving the health conditions of the refugees as well as ensuring the water supply, and the internal capacity-building required for managing their own destiny. The ultimate goal is to launch a process so that the community can become self-sufficient especially when the funds granted to the Iraq crisis begin to decrease.
This aid has already made it possible to cover some of the needs for water and sanitation in seven villages on the outskirts of Sharya. The release of additional aid will help improve sanitation and water supply, provide awareness campaigns targeting hygiene and waste management, together with access to non- essential food products.