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WesternZagros supports Mercy Corps in distribution of winter household items for Syrian refugees
With the $50,000 donated by Western Zagros, on January 16, 2014 Mercy Corps conducted a distribution of a kit of winter household items for 39 vulnerable Syrian refugee families living in Sulaymaniyah. Mercy Corps selected families supporting many children, and women-headed households. Each family received a package of items to help them stay warm and healthy throughout the winter months. The package included six foam mattresses; six double thickness thermal blankets; a hygiene kit containing: soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, sanitary napkins, toothpaste, toothbrushes, sanitary pads, towels, a 20 liter wash bucket, a comb, a drinking cup and a clothes line; a 4 by 5 meter plastic tarp; a 20 liter kerosene jerry can; a kerosene pump; a kerosene heater; a 220 liter kerosene barrel; and vouchers for 440 liters of kerosene that could be collected at a local petrol station. Beneficiary Kamaran Ali Ali, 41, is a father of four and supports his family doing day labor when he can find it. He says, “I pray to God for you and everyone who aims to help the Syrian community. Our lives have really improved with this assistance and we hope to get more help in the future. We are very grateful to you for contributing these things to us.”
Total supports FRC in providing emergency sanitation and winterization kit distribution in Domiz Camp
The French Red Cross (FRC) is joining efforts with partners of the Kurdistan Regional Government to address the critical sanitation situation of the refugees living in Domiz camp, the biggest refugees camp in the Kurdistan Region where water and sanitation management remains a major challenge for all partners. The FRC has been working since October 2013 in the areas with the highest densities and concentrating on the most important gaps in terms of sanitation facilities such as rehabilitation or construction of sanitation facilities, toilets pits rehabilitation and dislodging and drainage. To help the most vulnerable families of Domiz camp to cope with the harsh winter conditions, FRC provided 750 families with heaters, clothes, blankets and … etc.
In 2014, FRC activity in the Kurdistan Region is still supported by Total, which donated $250,000, and other institutional donors.The support will allow FRC to continue the sanitation works in Domiz and develop its activity of community mobilization in order to ensure that refugees are better involved and empowered in the management of water, health and sanitation issues to improve their living conditions. FRC is also planning to facilitate the integration of the urban refugees to the host communities through direct livelihood activities and public infrastructure support.
Genel Energy plc makes $1million donation to Save the Children
Genel Energy has donated $1 million US dollars to aid agency Save the Children in Iraq to bolster their efforts in providing life-saving humanitarian support to the 200,000 Syrian refugees who have fled to the Kurdistan Region.
The donation will make a significant impact on the programmes that Save the Children is delivering to Syrian refugees, and is especially vital with the onset of winter in the Kurdistan Region. With the arrival of cold weather and recent snow storms, conditions in the refugee camps have deteriorated and concerns grow for the health and wellbeing of refugees.
Save the Children has been providing invaluable support during this period, distributing essential supplies, offering basic education, and helping the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to cope with the increased strains on its infrastructure and economy. To date, Save the Children teams have reached 35,000 people - over half of which were children - through their response in Iraq.
Kieran King, Save the Children Iraq said, “Syrian children’s futures are threatened as they are deprived of an education and fall behind their peers. The partnership with Genel Energy and their generous donation of $1million will enable Save the Children to better support refugee children, providing shelter and safe areas in which they can play, learn and begin to recover from the trauma they have experienced fleeing their homes.”
Chevron makes $750,000 donation to Save the Children
Two million refugees have fled Syria and over one million are children. In Iraq, as of the end of January 2014, there have been 225,000 registered Syrian refugees, with over 95% of them staying in the Kurdistan Region.
Children and families who fled the violence left most of their things at home, and arrived in Iraq with very little. These families were ill- prepared to handle the harsh winter months. In response to their need for winter clothing, Save the Children, through a $750,000 donationfrom Chevron, is providing winter clothing for over 8,000 children in Darashakran, Kawergosk, Qushtapa and Arbat Camps in Erbil and Sulaymaniyah. These children received brand new warm jacket, a fleece sweater, warm pair of pants, fleece hat and gloves and lined rain boots to keep them warm and dry in the cold winter months.
In addition to adapting to new living conditions, children in the camps have limited access to safe spaces to play. Save the Children has established Child Friendly Spaces in the camps where children can play, draw and express themselves. Many children have resorted to making make shift slides out of dirt miles grounds and using old posts as goal posts for sports. With Chevron's support Save the Children will build four playgrounds in three camps in Erbil, creating outdoor environments where children will be able to play safely and maintain a sense of normalcy in the midst of the on-going crisis.
Gulf Keystone Petroleum supports Rise Foundation and pledges $1 per barrel produced for one year to assist Syrian refugees
To assist the humanitarian effort, Gulf Keystone Petroleum is supporting Rise Foundation, a small NGO based in the Kurdistan Region that serves the fundamental needs of the Syrian refugees through innovative projects and community engagement activities.
In addition, Gulf Keystone pledged $1.00 per each barrel produced from 1 September 2013 for a period of one year, to assist the KRG in the humanitarian relief effort.
With the financial and material support of Gulf Keystone Petroleum, Rise Foundation has undertaken and expanded numerous projects within multiple camps. These include large-scale distribution of non-food items, such as waterproof boots and jackets to 120 recently arrived families in Gawilan and 2,000 wheelbarrows in Kawergosk. Rise has also carried out large winterization programmes in Kawergosk, involving the graveling of roads, improving drainage, supplying wooden pallets to raise the flooring in tents and encouraging camp participation through cash-for-work schemes.
The ‘Green Project’ started in Qushtapa aims to provide each family there with an olive tree, and communal areas with fig trees. The development of recreational spaces for youths and children is underway in Kawergosk and Dara Shakran, and Rise Foundation has also partnered with ACTED in Domiz camp to provide child protection services along with child and youth friendly spaces. Rise Foundation will also be re-launching its Cinema Project in multiple camps around Kurdistan.
Gulf Keystone Petroleum has also provided Rise Foundation with an extensive supply of food and drink to be distributed on an ongoing basis in several camps over the first half of 2014.
Oil and Gas Management Services Group supports Rise Foundation’s operations
Oil and Gas Management Services Group (OAGSG), an integrated services company, decided that it could best help the Syrian refugees by making a donation in kind, by providing services and support to the Rise Foundation, a humanitarian NGO in the Kurdistan Region. OAGSG wanted to ensure that the living conditions of the Rise Foundation staff would allow them to do their best to undertake their activities. As such, OAGSG is providing accommodation and life support for one year for Rise’s staff, as well as providing a large van for their use. OAGSG has also been supporting Rise with basic administration and facilitating legal matters, as and when they arise and in cooperation with other organisations.
Hess Corporation supports Syrian Refugees with $500,000 donation to the International Rescue Committee
Before Hess Corporation’s donation, Hess employees were already giving their time and energy to support the Syrian refugee assistance efforts since the crisis began to escalate. Partly as a consequence of this firsthand experience, Hess was highly supportive of the Ministry of Natural Resources’ Kurdistan Oil & Gas Humanitarian Initiative (KOGHI). Hess has also had a long-term relationship with the International Rescue Committee (IRC), which is among the leading NGOs supporting refugees in the Kurdistan Region. This made it possible for Hess to quickly put funding into the hands of the local IRC organisation to enable their activities.
After consultation and planning with the IRC, Hess funded five refugee initiatives that were critically important to extremely vulnerable refugees, particularly women, the elderly, children, and youth, in the following sectors: Child Protection; Education; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene; Women’s Protection and Empowerment; and Community-Based Protection and Empowerment.
The first initiative was basic clothing including donations of shoes and winter coats. Hess also supported projects to build suitable platforms on which tents could be erected. With an estimated 90% of refugee children not having access to education, Hess felt that support for camp schools was an important opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children. Donations of supplies and heaters were directed to schooling as a priority. Looking at the longer term, funding was also provided to aid initiatives for child and women’s protective services and counselling. All together, the IRC will be able to provide support to over 3,000 refugees with the funding provided by Hess Corporation.
Ensign Energy Services donates $25,000 to Norwegian Refugee Council to aid Syrian refugee women
Whilst many said that winter this year was not as bad as previous years, for Syrian families living in the refugee camps of Erbil, the bitter cold that came at night was difficult to cope with. With limited access to electricity, families stay warm with blankets, clothes and when possible portable gas stoves.
With the support of Ensign International Energy Services, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) conducted a distribution of items to all adult women aged 18 and over in Basirma camp and to vulnerable women, including female headed households and elderly and disabled women in Kawergosk camp. Each woman received a package of items to help them cope with the cold, mud and rain, as well as maintain their dignity. Each woman received a winter coat; a pair of shoes; two pairs of thick socks; three pairs of underwear; personal hygiene products; and two jars of moisturizing cream to help protect their skin from the wind. This was the first distribution of this type for adult women in Basirma, who typically have to share all of their personal items with their children or female relatives. A total of 715 women in Basirma and 285 women in Kawergosk camps received items, thanks to the generous support of Ensign International Energy Services.