Aid distribution for displaced from Tuz Khurmatu, Kirkuk in Erbil
By A.C. Robinson
Italy has donated funds to purchase winter essentials for families displaced from Tuz Khurmatu and now sheltering in Erbil.
The Italian Consulate provided $31,000, said Sirwa Rasool, acting director of the Joint Crisis Centre (JCC) of the KRG’s Interior Ministry.
Rasool said they were hoping to receive more aid in the future, especially for medical supplies.
Ismail Abdul Azia, a worker for the Barzani Charity Foundation helping to distribute the aid, explained to Rudaw English that they were giving cookers, heaters, winter jackets, and carpets for 100 families.
“Part of our plan here today is to monitor the distribution of the aid as well as speak to families and find out on what the basis the first 100 were chosen to receive aid,” said Mustafa Ma’ad, head of GIS Systems for the JCC.
This aid was the first assistance the 100 families had received since fleeing their homes in mid-October, Ma’ad added.
There are approximately 86,000 individuals displaced from Tuz Khurmatu and Kirkuk, according to JCC figures.
They fled the disputed areas when Iraqi forces and Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi militias took over the area. The United Nations has confirmed
widespread destruction in primarily Kurdish areas of Tuz Khurmatu along with reports of violence and intimidation directed at the Kurdish population.
Italy is among the many international voices who have urged Erbil and Baghdad to hold talks to solve problems, including resolving the disputed areas.
"We encourage all the political parties to hold talks and assist each other," Italian Prime Minister wrote in a letter to KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani.
Italy also provided humanitarian aid, mainly first aid kits and emergency relief supplies, after the November earthquake. Three planeloads of aid were delivered through Sulaimani airport.