More than 150k displaced persons face another cold Iraqi winter

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By Rudaw yesterday
Displaced persons mosey in a camp in Iraq. Photo: UNICEF
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — With temperatures reaching 50 Celsius in summer in Iraq, in the north they plummet to freezing leaving hundreds of thousands of IDPs vulnerable to the elements.

“The devastating floods have made this winter even more difficult for displaced children who are extremely vulnerable to hypothermia and respiratory diseases. No child should be subjected to such risks. Every child deserves to be warm and healthy,” Peter Hawkins, the UNICEF Representative in Iraq said in a statement released on Monday.

More than 1.8 million Iraqis remain displaced because of the ISIS conflict, in particular Sunni Arabs, Yezidis, Kurds, and Christians.

Recent Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Nadia Murad is a Yezidi who has sought asylum in Germany.

“As the world celebrates Nadia Murad’s incredible story of survival and her work for human rights, let us remember that there are many vulnerable children in Iraq who still need our support, even if the worse of the violence may be over” said Hawkins.

The Kurdistan Region continues to host around 1.5 million IDPs and Syrian refugees. Flooding and plummeting temperatures has complicated the work of humanitarians.

Hawkins noted that flash floods have “worsened the situation.”

Heating fuel and winter clothes are lacking according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

They have “ramped up” efforts to meet the gap.