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Supporting Iraqi's fleeing the fighting
RedR logistics expert Debbie Arneman will spend Christmas ensuring that those fleeing the fighting in Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul have adequate shelter and basic household items including mattresses, stoves, kitchen and hygiene sets and jerry cans.
“So far, more than 5,705 emergency relief packages have been distributed by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees,” Debbie said from her base in Erbil, in Iraqi Kurdistan.
The UNHCR currently has six camps open to support those fleeing the fighting in and around Mosul.
“These camps are hosting over 14,000 people but have capacity for 54,600. Three more camps are under construction and one is in planning. All 10 camps will have a capacity for 120,000,” Debbie said adding that “UNHCR and its partners, including the Government of Iraq, can potentially host 700,000 people, including a number of shelter solutions outside of camps,” she explained.
“The UNHCR and its partners are providing life-saving protection and assistance to newly displaced families, making sure they have adequate shelter, and basic household items.
“With temperatures declining, the focus is on protecting people against the weather and keeping them safe and warm. UNHCR plans to reach 1.2 million people in Iraq with special winterized kits including blankets, heating stoves, plastic tarpaulins and water and kerosene jerry cans. The organisation is also providing cash assistance and plans to winter-proof 53,000 tents.”
“My job in the UNHCR Erbil Supply Unit is to ensure the procurement part of the pipeline is maintained, that we have an ongoing supply of needed items,” Debbie said.
RedR Australia has three experts in Iraq including communications specialist Karina Coates and Humanitarian Affairs Officer Catriona Heath.