Over 500 families have moved into the newly opened Shekhan camp for internally displaced people (IDPs) in northern Iraq over the past week and hundreds more will move in in the coming days.
The camp has been constructed by a consortium of humanitarian partners with the support of multiple donors and will eventually provide shelter forsome 1,000 displaced families.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM), with funding from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, contributed the lead technical role in camp design and construction, and provided the internal electrical network, gravelled roads, prefabricated buildings for administrative offices and a health center, and private kitchens for each family, including sinks and electrical connections.
IOM will also staff and manage the camp primary health care centre, which will be handicap accessible, and will provide psychosocial support to displaced families, particularly women and children. Activities will include psycho-social consultations, individual and group counselling, and opportunities for sports and recreation, including a playground area.
IOM also provided transport for displaced families to get to Shekhan, in coordination with the Dohuk Governorate Bureau of Relief and Humanitarian Affairs (BRHA), and a UNHCR multi-functional team, which jointly carried out the process of family selection. Most of the families were living in unfinished and abandoned buildings in Dohuk Governorate.
Shekhan was built under the guidance of Dohuk Governorate BRHA. Partners included IOM and the International Humanitarian Partnership, Technisches Hilfswerk and Action Against Hunger. UNHCR held a coordination role. The camp is now fully operational and will be officially handed over to Dohuk Governorate BRHA in mid-May.
Dohuk hosts the most IDPs of all Iraq governorates. Shekhan camp is the 16th IDP camp in the area administered by Dohuk Governorate and two additional camps are under construction. But there is still insufficient housing for the displaced population.