Written by Vanessa Okoth-Obbo/Photography by Yad Abdulqader IOM Iraq 2020

The shelters that make up Jad’ah 5 camp, in Iraq’s Ninewa Governorate, all have the same architecture: tents made of a metal frame; an inner cover; a layer of insulation; an outer cover; front and back doors. Sandbags are placed around the base outside, to weigh down the tarpaulins and keep the structures in place.

In Jad’ah 1 and Jad’ah 5 (separate sections of the same camp) these modest constructions are still home to 20,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs); across Iraq, there are an estimated 1.4 million IDPs, 24 per cent of them live in camp settings.

Shifa Abdulla’s tent in Jad’ah 5 houses eight people: she has lived there with her husband and six daughters since being displaced from Mosul in 2017.

“When we came to the camp, the tent was in a bad state,” Shifa, 35, explained; in 2019, the roof of her tent started leaking. “We asked for help many times, but nothing happened.”

Many tents in the camp, constructed by the Government of Iraq in 2016, needed to be repaired or replaced but a lack of resources made it difficult to address these needs. Through the Iraq Humanitarian Fund (IHF) – a country-based pooled fund led by the Humanitarian Coordinator and managed by OCHA – the International Organization for Migration (IOM) received a grant in 2019 to replace all tents in the Jad’ah camps since they were beyond their life expectancy.

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