BAGHDAD – As an immediate response to the flash floods that hit northern Iraq last week, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and its partner World Vision International (WVI) have provided 235 flood-affected Syrian refugee families in Qushtapa camp in Erbil with emergency ready-to-eat food assistance.
On 16 December, torrential rains caused serious flooding in some areas of Erbil governorate. Qushtapa refugee camp was one of the heavily affected areas. Approximately 1400 Syrian refugees had their tents and homes severely damaged by the rains.
WFP is coordinating with the local Government of the Kurdistan region, other UN agencies, and humanitarian partners in the area to provide aid and support to camp residents affected by the natural disaster. So far, no fatalities or injuries have been reported in the camp following the event.
The water level rose to half a meter in the damaged areas, ruining food storges, refrigerators, electric heaters and other household items. Many families also discarded their clothes and carpets that were ruined by the water.
“We are here today to provide much needed humanitarian assistance to families affected by the floods,” said WFP Iraq’s Deputy Country Director, Asif Bhutto. “Providing food to vulnerable people in times of emergency, is at the core of WFP’s mandate and capacity.”
“This unfortunate event highlights the need to further build the capacities of the governments of Kurdistan Region and the Federal government of Iraq on emergency preparedness and response to ensure that relevant stakeholders are better equipped to deal with these events in the future,” he added.
WFP Iraq is scaling up its assistance to provide more support to vulnerable communities in Iraq, helping them build resilience against shocks including climate change in addition to enhancing the capacity of the Government of Iraq in social protection and other areas.
WFP continues to provide food and cash assistance to thousands of vulnerable displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees across the country who rely on this assistance to meet their basic food needs.