Iraq: health awareness to improve resilience

Am 23.04.2018 von John Engedal Nissen

Fotocollage: Junge Syrerin am Kinderwagen und mit ihrer Tochter

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For Niroz, her children’s welfare is of utmost importance. The young mother appreciates the free health sessions given by volunteers from the Iraqi Red Crescent Society.

With her baby covered in a warm, pink jumpsuit, 26-year-old Niroz arrives at the health center in Domiz 1, one of the largest refugee camps in Iraq, and located on the outskirts of Dohuk. The last four years Niroz has lived here with her husband after fleeing from Damascus in Syria. Last year, she gave birth to her baby girl.

Foto: Junge Syrerin mit ihrer Tochter
“My dream is that my children can be safe and well,” Niroz says.

As she waits to receive medical attention, she and many other women receive health and hygiene awareness at the center, given by volunteers from Iraqi Red Crescent Society. “I’ve learned that there should be a minimum of two years between each baby, to give ther mother some time to recover,” Niroz says afterwards, and adds: “Even though I am not yet having health problems myself, I appreciate receiving the health information.”

“At least we feel safe”

The health awareness sessions aim to improve the daily life of refugees, and according to Niroz this is much needed. “We live under difficult circumstances,” Niroz explains, “even though my husband has a job as a construction worker, it is difficult to afford the rent. But at least we feel safe here. We have considered to go to Europe – for the sake of our children, but it is a long and difficult way to get there when you have small children.”

Support for health and independence

In the coming months, Iraqi Red Crescent Society will – with the support of EU – work to improve the livelihood and health of Syrian refugees. Along with the health awareness and hygiene promotion provided at the health center, vocational training and business grants will be offered to refugees.

This is part of a long-term support to improve the conditions of Syrian refugees, internally displaced people and vulnerable locals, and to enable them to  become more resilient and self-reliant.

Niroz does not know when her family might be able to return to Syria. She hopes that this support will help her to take good care of her children in the meantime. “My dream is only that my children can be safe and well,” she says.

Foto: Sandstraße und Oberleitungen im Flüchtlingscamp Domiz
Refugee camp Domiz in the North of Iraq – one of the biggest camps in the country.

MADAD: Aid in Syria’s neighbouring countries

The Assistance in Iraq is a part of the international MADAD programme, Madad meaning „Helping together“. 15 Red Cross and Red Crescent societies – lead by the Danish Red Cross – are working together to support up to one million Syrian refugees and host communities in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. The aim is to improve the living conditions and the resilience of the people, but also to strengthen a peaceful co-existence. The MADAD programme is funded by the European Union through a trust fund of 49 million Euro.

» Get to know more about the MADAD Programme.

Photos: Fotos: Safin A. Sleman/Danish Red Cross, Oana Bara/DRK

Geschrieben von:

John Engedal Nissen
Der gelernte Journalist ist beim Dänischen Roten Kreuz für die Kommunikation verantwortlich. Im Rahmen des MADAD-Projekts, das von der Europäischen Union finanziert wird, bereist er die vom Syrienkonflikt betroffenen Nachbarländer, um dort syrische Flüchtlinge zu porträtieren, die vom gleichnamigen Fonds profitieren. John Engedal Nissen bereist auch für die Internationale Föderation der Rotkreuz- und Rothalbmond-Bewegung Krisen- und Katastrophengebiete, um über die Situation vor Ort zu berichten.

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