Region | Iraq

Shanty towns mushroom in Iraq

Thousands of displaced Iraqis have set up makeshift camps inside the country following worsening sectarian violence, according to CNN.

  • Agencies
  • Published: 00:00 June 16, 2007
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Gulf News Archive
  • There now are tens of makeshift sites, including Najaf in the south, Baghdad, and Nineva province in the north. Each camp would house more than 2,000 people.

Baghdad: Thousands of displaced Iraqis have set up makeshift camps inside the country following worsening sectarian violence, according to CNN.

With nowhere to go, these people have set up shantytowns that lack proper water access, medical care and toilets, said Andrew Harper, head of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees' Iraq support unit in Geneva.

"What we do know is that Iraqis detest living in camps and the fact that we are now seeing these types of camps being established is a very bad sign that other options are no longer available," Harper said.

He said there now are tens of makeshift sites, including Najaf in the south, Baghdad, and Nineva province in the north. Each camp would house more than 2,000 people in a collection of tents.

The people had to cope with snakes, scorpions and mosquitoes. They had no change of clothes. Many of the children suffer from typhoid, diarrhoea and skin rash, Harper said.

On Friday, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said it has launched an $85 million appeal for internally displaced Iraqis and those enduring food shortages.

"If people cannot get help with shelter, food, water, health care or even ways of earning a living to pay for these things because everyone is in a desperate struggle to survive, people will feel they have no choice but to flee Iraq. The situation cannot continue like this. We can and must help them," says Rafiq Tschannen, IOM's chief of mission in Iraq.

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