13034 Escaped from Syria: Syrian refugees in the Domiz Refugee Camp, Iraq

April 19, 2013 § Leave a comment

By Italo Rondinella
with RISE
in the autonomous region of Kurdistan, Iraq

Refugee camps in the autonomous region of Kurdistan (Iraq) are overwhelmed by the influx of people fleeing Syria. This paper documents the the Domiz Refugee Camp, with 55,000 people despite having been built for 10,000.


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The report

The war in Syria has caused a huge crisis of internally displaced persons and refugees in neighboring countries. In the territory of Iraq by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG, for its acronym in English), had on February 75 thousand people who fled the violence and are located in different parts of the area in the three KRG provinces . The largest of these, concentrating more than 55 000 people (the number is imprecise because of difficulties in keeping track of all comers), is Domiz Field in Duhok province. To this number must be added 16,000 refugees in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah in 4000. Regional authorities have made an enormous effort to receive and provide basic care to this temporary immigrants. Nonetheless, this photographic work shows the hard conditions of life prevailing in the field and the many shortcomings, especially in key issues such as hygiene, health, childcare, education and work. Originally the Domiz Refugee Camp was prepared to accommodate 10,000 people. Now, exceeding five times its original capacity, multiply the problems and needs are more pressing. And more people arrive every week, which threatens to overcome poor service systems put in place by the Kurdish government and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Respiratory problems and sore throats are a major concern, as well as joint pain and back problems. People are very exposed to cold because they live in uninsulated tents instead of houses. And due to overpopulation, it is easy for the disease from spreading from one person to another and from one store to another. Children are more susceptible to cold because their immune systems are weaker than those of adults. At the time it was made this photographic documentation, it was December, early winter. The accommodation was not ready: for tents, should have had more shops that are off the ground. Also missing kerosene to keep people warm field. There are a lot of moisture inside the stores, resulting in bacteria. A heating system would dry stores, destroy bacteria and shops would be warmer and safer. There are a large number of cases of diarrhea, especially among children.

The author

Italo Rondinella  was born in Italy in 1974. He graduated in law and, after nearly a decade in the profession of lawyer, decided to pursue his passion: documentary photography. He started as a press photographer in Corriere della Sera daily, and in 2009, traveled to Barcelona to specialize in photojournalism at the AutonomousUniversity. He currently works as a freelance photojournalist, working with some of the leading international journals and current policy.

The project

RISE is working on expanding its activities to provide basic medical care, prescriptions and psychosocial counseling for refugee families in the governorate of Erbil.

Given the nature of the daily life of a refugee and his lack of availability of medical treatment, we developed a mobile health unit directed by a doctor both male and one female, and supported by trained non-medical volunteers. Although the key mission of the mobile clinic is to travel to the refugee sites to provide basic diagnoses and prescriptions, also must educate the refugee population on the availability of professional medical treatment in the KRG. Considering the growing number of refugees and the limited number of medical staff, the mandate of the mobile health unit will be limited, dealing only minor ailments and prescribing a limited supply of medicines. In addition, we plan to provide psychosocial counseling weekly for separate groups of men and women.

The entity

RISE is a nonprofit organization based in Erbil, KRG, Iraq, providing basic services to Syrian refugees in the region. Founded late in 2012 by Dr. Amer Harky, Tom Robinson and Cecily Cook, RISE and is assessing the needs of refugees and delivering essential goods. Currently we serve approximately 400 families in areas like Kasnazan, Berkut, Bahrka, Omer Pirzin and Mala. The family sizes ranging from 3 to 14 members and we have new arrivals almost every week. An ongoing task has been to develop a network of contacts and work with community leaders from the refugee population in order to assess the needs. In addition, RISE seeks to raise awareness among local and foreign residents and aims to generate answers from them to increase our activities.


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You are currently reading 13034 Escaped from Syria: Syrian refugees in the Domiz Refugee Camp, Iraq at REVELA english.


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