Emergency Response to Northern Iraq and Northern Syria
On 7th November 2019, Japan Platform (JPF) decided to launch the emergency assistance program for those displaced by Turkish Armed Forces' operations in northern Syria, including the newly internally displaced persons (IDPs) in northern Syria and the new refugees who have fled to northern Iraq due to this conflict.
- Since the Turkish Armed Forces launched its military operations in northern Syrian on 9th October 2019, air raids and ground offensive against Kurdish forces continued in the border region. On 22nd October, an agreement was reached between Turkey and Russia that Kurdish forces retrieve from the border region, that Turkey controls Ras al-Ain and other parts of the border strip, and that Turkey and Russia jointly patrol the area. On 28th October, when this agreement took effect, Kurdish forces began to withdraw from the border to positions 30km into Syria*1, but sporadic attacks have continued to take place in Ras al-Ain and others.
- Since 9th October, over 108,000 people have newly become IDPs in Syria, including 45,000 children (as of 31st October) *2. Among the displaced, around 124,000 are living in host communities while around 14,000 have been accommodated at emergency shelters and IDP camps, both of which are using converted schools and other facilities. Because local infrastructure such as water stations and power plants have been damaged in the offensive and some major roads that would normally be used to transport goods have been closed down, UN agencies and others providing relief are distributing food, tents, winter items, water, and medical supplies for the IDPs. Uncertainty is expected to continue, and there are concerns that even more people will be displaced*3.
- Since 14th October, people who had no choice but to flee are arriving each day in the Syria-Iraq border region. 13,634 Syrian refugees have crossed into northern Iraq (as of 3rd November)*4, and they are transported to Bardarash and Domiz Camps in Ninawa Governorate. The Iraqi governorate authorities, UN agencies, and NGOs are providing shelter, daily essential items, WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene), food, and protection for the people in need. However, with the persistent influx of Syrian refugees, Bardarash Camp has reached its maximum capacity on 25th October, and authorities are now urgently setting up tents in the Gawilan Camp to be able to accept incoming refugees. There remains urgent need to secure new places to accept more people as they arrive, and to distribute daily essential items for the new arrivals including winter supplies.
- Under these circumstances, JPF has decided to implement food distribution, distribution of daily essential items (NFIs; non-food items), water assistance, and camp preparations and maintenance. Currently, JPF member NGOs with experience providing assistance in Syria and Iraq are considering assistance provision based on their expertise.
JPF will work with our member NGOs as we bring prompt emergency assistance that meets the needs on the ground. Further updates will be posted on our website and on our Facebook page.
*1 Al Jazeera, SDF Begins Withdrwal from Syria-Turkey Border (27th October 2019)
*2 UNOCHA Syria Flash Update #11, https://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/syria-flash-update-11-humanitarian-impact-military-operation-north (31st October 2019)
*3 UNHCR, UNHCR Syria Situation Report for the North East Syria Humanitarian Emergency As of 26 October 2019 (26th October 2019)
*4 UNHCR Inter-Agency Operational Update - Iraq, https://reliefweb.int/report/iraq/unhcr-inter-agency-operational-update-iraq-3-november-2019 (3rd November 2019)
|Term||Maximum 6 months|
|Budget||170 million yen (Government Subsidies)|
|Locations||Northern Iraq, Northern Syria|
|Content||Emergency assistance for IDPs in Syria and newly arrived Syrian refugees in Iraq|