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Emergency supplies help displaced families

Iraq, July 15, 2014

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  • One of the informal displacement camps in Khanaqin. Photo: James Kelly for Mercy Corps

This past week, our team in Iraq distributed 4,000 hygiene kits to vulnerable displaced families in the Khanaqin region of Iraq.

Since early June, conflict in Iraq has caused hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to flee their homes in search of safety.

The sudden, large displacement of people has overwhelmed more stable regions. Official displacement camps are few and far between, so many families are taking shelter wherever they can: in schools, abandoned buildings, and tents.


Photo: James Kelly for Mercy Corps

Jennan, her husband, and her two young sons Ahmed and Mohammed received a hygiene kit in Aliawa camp. They were forced to flee their home in Jalula over two weeks ago. They left early in the morning, with no money for a taxi, in hopes of finding safe shelter in Khanaqin.

Now Jennan and her family are trying to get by with over 300 other families living in the Aliawa camp. They live in a single tent, which gives them more shelter and protection than many others.

More and more families arrive every day, and the camp is quickly running out of both tents and space. Our staff in Iraq is working to provide more tents for families in Aliawa camp.

Jennan told Mercy Corps staff of their need for latrines and cooking tools, while one of her sons reminded her to ask about the possibility of toys.


Photo: James Kelly for Mercy Corps

Two year-old Nora, her brother Mustafu (pictured), sister Asraq, and parents received a hygiene kit in the Mala’ab camp in Khanaqin. They fled Jalula in late June and have no information about their home or when it might be safe to return.

Nora’s older siblings were both in primary school before they fled. As conflict continues around them, their education and their hopes for the future have been put on hold.

Providing families with vital emergency supplies helps them survive, stay healthy and maintain dignity and hope in the face of crisis and uncertainty. Without clean water and sanitation facilities, the risk of disease outbreaks is high.

To help families in Iraq stay healthy and clean, the hygiene kits, which are designed to serve a family of five, each included:

  • 1 washing basin
  • 1 bucket with lid
  • 3 bath towels
  • 1 package laundry detergent
  • 1 bottle liquid dish-washing detergent
  • 1 bottle shampoo
  • 5 bars of soap
  • 5 toothbrushes
  • 1 tube toothpaste
  • 1 package of 24 sanitary pads
  • 3 razors
  • 1 comb
  • 1 large garbage bag

Our team on the ground is working closely with our network of local partners to continue to assess and respond to the needs of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who may face long-term displacement.

Learn more about the current crisis and our response ▸