The 5-Miles IDP Camp in Basra, a Story of Social Cohesion
The opening ceremony of new shops managed by internally displaced persons in the popular al-Asri market, 5 miles off the city of Basra, marks a story of success.
Following a fire in a community of displaced people in Tannoma District, 300 families (2,000 people) who had lost everything, settled down in a camp in the proximity of the market since August 2014.
The governorate and the United Nations provided basic services such as shelters, water and sanitation, and schools. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) helped boost job skills and entrepreneurship through training. As they regain their livelihoods, they now show signs of recovery.
“The reconstruction of the souk, which we are inaugurating today, will help the displaced restart their lives, and is pivotal to building social cohesion in the 5-Miles neighbourhood,” said Lise Grande, the UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and UNDP Resident Representative in Iraq. “With the hope of resuming normal life, many go on with their new economic activities in the camp’s environment,” she added.
UNDP is spearheading the UN support programmes to generate employment and income for the displaced and their host community, addressing potential competition on the labour market and the stress on camp neighbourhoods. Country-wide the UNDP’s livelihoods programme has reached to some 14,000 vulnerable people in 2014.