As temperatures in Iraq continue to rise, World Vision is urging donors to give more money to support families that have been displaced. Temperatures at the start of the month began to exceed 50 degrees and the aid agency is extremely concerned for the families on the ground. Cecil Laguardia of World Vision says the heat wave has made already difficult living conditions that much harder for children. There are almost a million displaced children in Iraq.
Living in steel boxes
Ms. Laguardia adds that many of the shelters or caravans are little more than steel boxes. Whilst there are the fortunate few families that own a cooler, there is still the issue of power cuts which occur throughout the day. Those families who don’t have a cooler have to deal with shelters that get unbearably hot. Going outdoors is simply not an option for these families where temperatures are searing.
7.1 million people affected
The heat wave began in late July and reports keep pouring in about families and their children suffering from heat stroke, dehydration and diarrhoea. The best way to deal with the effects of severe weather is funding Ms. Laguardia explained. In June Iraq’s Humanitarian Response Plan was released by the Kurdish Region of Iraq government and the United Nations. The report warns that as many as 7.1 million people will require water, sanitation and hygiene assistance. If these issues remain unaddressed many in the aid community worry there will be an outbreak of disease which will likely make what is a miserable situation much worse.
“There simply aren’t enough water supplies for all families. The electricity in this camp goes off at least two to three times a day. It’s often the case where there is no power for at least three hours during the day and five hours at night, making it even more difficult for my children to stay hydrated.” 45-year old Anwar who lives in a camp in Erbil with his wife and four children said.
World Vision doing its bit
World Vision is doing its bit and is trying to rehabilitate a water facility which would mean better water supplies for as many as 40,000 people living in the Khanke camp as well as other host communities. Construction for the project is being done in collaboration with the Ministry of Water of Duhok. It is expected that the project will be complete by November 2015.