The common belief about ShelterBox aid is that it is for natural disasters. However, relief activity in the war-torn Middle East shows that not to be the case.
When the United Nations declared a “Level 3 emergency” in Iraq, with religious minorities fleeing ISIS terrorists, ShelterBox partnered with both the U.N. and the Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development (ACTED) to attempt to deliver vital shelter to families previously stranded on Sinjar Mountain.
Thousands of such people were left stranded atop Sinjar Mountain after being driven from their homes by the advance of Islamic State militants in the region. The rapid advance of militant fighters that has thrown Iraq into crisis now has led to overseas involvement in the form of aid interventions.
The U.N. estimates that 1.2 million Iraqis have been internally displaced by the crisis. ShelterBox has a wealth of experience in humanitarian responses in the region, having been responding to the Syria crisis since early 2012 and also has rendered aid in the Kurdistan sector of Iraq.
The U.N.’s Level 3 statement explained that, “given the scale and complexity of the current humanitarian catastrophe, this measure will facilitate mobilization of additional resources in goods, funds and assets to ensure a more effective response to the humanitarian needs of populations affected by forced displacements.”
ShelterBox, which had pre-positioned stock in Iraq, worked with the U.N. and ACTED to move 500 U.N.-specification tents to Duhok, near the border with Syria, to be used to establish a camp to provide shelter for internally displaced people.
Although daytime temperatures in the region currently are high, the ShelterBox is making making provisions to supplement the current stock of shelter in Iraq with winterization kits. This is a precautionary measure in case the need for shelter sadly extend into the colder winter months.