UNHCR begins its winter assistance programme for displaced Iraqis and refugees

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This week, UNHCR Iraq began its winter assistance programme to help vulnerable displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees. Altogether, more than 100,000 households will benefit from additional help over the next four months.
A large part of the assistance will be cash-based, allowing families to decide for themselves how to spend the money on their most urgent needs during the difficult winter months.
In the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I), where temperatures can fall to below zero centigrade at night, UNHCR plans to provide cash assistance to over 20,000 refugee households and to more than 30,000 recently-displaced Iraqi families, including those living in and outside of formal camps.
The transfer value of help has been designed to align with the Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement (MoMD) plans to provide kerosene for displaced families.
Some of the most vulnerable households in camps will also receive winter kits, including a heating stove, high thermal blankets and tent insulation kits.
Assistance targeting families displaced as a result of the recent Mosul offensive will also cover 8,000 households living in urban areas, while 17,500 households living in camps will receive cash payments and winter kits.
In central and southern Iraq, 15,500 displaced families (including 3,000 living in urban areas) will receive cash assistance or winter kits.
“We will manage better with this help”, said mother, Yazi Ahmed, who was registered for cash assistance in UNCHR–managed Al Salamiyah 1 camp, south of Mosul. “I plan to buy clothes and food for the children.”
Father-of-seven, Mohammed Ibrahim, from Abu Maria, near Telafar, said: “We have no money, so this help is very important for us; we really need it. Our house was destroyed back home and we have no idea how we will spend this winter.”

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“This assistance is an important lifeline for families as winter approaches, especially in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, where temperatures plummet at night”, said UNHCR Iraq Representative, Bruno Geddo. “Winter is the hardest time for displaced Iraqis, especially those still living in tents or unfinished buildings.
“To ensure we reach displaced families as quickly as possible, the bulk of our help this year has been monetized. The aim is to give families more flexibility in making decisions about their spending priorities.”
UNHCR is grateful to donors who have made this vital assistance possible.

For more information contact:
Caroline Gluck gluck@unhcr.org +964 780 920 7286 (Baghdad) Amira Abd El-Khalek abdelkha@unhcr.org +964 772 616 3729 (Erbil)
Saif al-Tatooz altatooz@unhcr.org +964 780 195 8468 (Baghdad) Rasheed H Rasheed rasheedr@unhcr.org +964 750 713 0014 (Duhok)
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