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Thursday 18 October 2012

Winter ShelterBoxes sent for Syrians in Iraq
Winter ShelterBoxes sent for Syrians in Iraq Photograph taken by Reuters/Ali Jarekji, courtesy of the Thomson Reuters Foundation – AlertNet. Syrian refugees arrive at the Al Zaatri refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria August 29, 2012.

Winterised ShelterBoxes have been sent to shelter Syrian families living in Domiz refugee camp in northern Iraq.

As a result of Syria’s growing violence, sectarian tensions and economic hardship, a high influx of people have crossed the border into the Kurdistan region.

Reasons for their arrival are varied - some families are fleeing from conflict in Syria’s northern city Aleppo; some are returning to their Kurdish roots; others may have been displaced by the previous conflict in Iraq.

Many displaced families have made their way to Domiz refugee camp near Duhuk, some 60 kilometres from the Syria/Iraq border.

There are currently around 3,000 families living at the camp, with an average of 50 new families arriving each day.

‘Winter fast approaching’

David Webber (UK) is leading the ShelterBox Response Team (SRT) deployed to the area to deliver aid to families in need:

‘With winter fast approaching, the ShelterBoxes have been especially packed for the refugee families in Domiz to provide them with warmth and comfort in the upcoming extreme conditions in the region.

‘Each box contains a disaster relief tent, extra thermal blankets and groundsheets, water filtration kits, hats, gloves and scarfs for adults and children, some solar lamps and most critically the thermal liner for the disaster relief tents.’

The thermal liner is the result of ongoing development of the equipment that ShelterBox delivers to families in need. It has been designed for use in extreme weather conditions and can be added between the inner and outer sheets of the tent for extra insulation. The thermal layers were used for the first time during ShelterBox’s response to the earthquake that struck Turkey in October 2011 and provided extra warmth for displaced families.

ShelterBox Warehouse volunteers
ShelterBox volunteers packing Boxes to be sent to Iraq this week.

Warehouse volunteers at the ShelterBox headquarters in Helston, Cornwall have been packing the bespoke winterised ShelterBoxes this week, which will be sent to Erbil in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

The SRT is expected to arrive in the region today and will begin working with the Kurdish organization, Barzani Charity Foundation (BCF) to deliver aid to families in need.

Elsewhere in the region ShelterBox continues to explore opportunities to provide shelter for people in need. An SRT is due to travel to Jordan at the weekend to assess aid distribution options and efforts continue with local partners in Lebanon to find ways to supply relief to those most in need.
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