UN: 5,000 Syrian refugee families living in poor humanitarian conditions in Iraqi Kurdistan

Syrian refugees crossing the border into Iraqi Kurdistan are finding it increasingly difficult to survive without external support. Many are moving to refugee camps in order to obtain basic living provisions, such as water, food, health services and adequate shelter.

Abu Hussein is one of those. He decided to seek support at a refugee camp because he is unable to afford the rent for his worn-down home. “I can’t pay the rent of my house,” says Abu Hussein. “I cannot get into my house. I go here and there looking to do anything so I can pay the rent. I do not want to go to the camp. I want to stay at home but I am forced to go to the camp.”

The United Nations has said that almost four and a half thousand Syrian refugee families are seeking to move to refugee camps. Many refugees have difficulty finding work, which can make affording rent unmanageable. Landlords are also known to increase the price of rents for refugee families.

A representative from the UNHCR said that humanitarian organisations are unable to accommodate for the large number of refugees arriving at the camps. “Space in the refugee camp is limited. Therefore, we cannot transfer these numbers of families wishing to move. We study their situation and select some of them, taking into account the living situation, place, age, as well as the number of family members. We have no plans to establish new camps.”