Yezidi families had lost all their possessions in the fire


The international Christian aid organization Shelter Now has supported around 180 affected families with the most necessary relief supplies after a major fire in a refugee camp in northern Iraq. The Yezidi families had lost all their possessions in “Camp Sharya” in early June, when more than 400 tents burned down within half an hour. Although the people were able to get to safety, reports the German Shelter Now director Udo Stolte: “But they are again in a similarly hopeless situation as seven years ago, when they had to flee from the terror militia IS.”


Thanks to a very generous donation, Shelter Now was able to get the emergency aid going in coordination with other organizations, Stolte says. According to the information, 184 food packages, kitchen utensils, hygiene sets, cleaning sets and 140 air coolers were procured. The latter are very important in the tents with daytime temperatures well above 40 degrees. The new tents for the IDPs made homeless by the fire had been provided by the regional government, he said.


Around the city of Dohuk, there are numerous refugee camps for tens of thousands of Yazidis who fled from the Sinjar region to the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan after IS attacked the district in 2014. According to estimates, the terrorist militia had killed thousands of members of the religious minority in Sinjhar, kidnapped and enslaved over 6,000 women and children. Within the “Sharya” camp, a total of more than 12,000 people live, as well as about 20,000 in the immediate vicinity, many of them in vacant buildings.


Emergency relief after the devastating fire is Shelter Now’s first project in “Camp Sharya”. According to Udo Stolte, further projects are now planned, which will benefit, among others, the widows living inside and outside the camp. Shelter Now has been supporting Yezidis who have fled to Kurdistan since 2015. Initially, they received clothing and food, among other things, as well as poultry for self-sufficiency. In recent years, the relief organization built a trauma center for Yazidi women near the town of Baadre and maintains a children’s center for orphans. Since 2018, Shelter Now has its own office in Erbil, the capital of the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan.


Brunswick, July 30, 2021


Shelter Now is an international relief organization with a coordination office in Germany. It was active in Pakistan from 1983 to 2016. Work began in 1988 in Afghanistan and in 2014 in the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan (Northern Iraq). The name of the organization in Germany is “Shelter Now Germany e.V.”. Shelter Now finances its relief efforts to a large extent from private donations. Shelter Now’s efficient and project-related use of funds is certified by the German Central Institute for Social Issues (DZI) with the donation seal.

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