A Success Story: Distributing Food Rations to IDPs in Salamiyah Camps
Salamiyah is a small village in Ninewa governorate, located in Al-Hamdaniya district near the eastern bank of Tigris river, which separates Al-Hamdaniya district from Mosul district (see map below).
IDP camps were set up near Salamiyah village to receive civilians fleeing the west part pf Mosul city as military operations against ISIS continue in that part of the city. It was expected that more than half of those civilians will settle in camps, mainly Salamiyah camps.
The story of Salamiyah IDP camps started in February 2017, when humanitarian actors, including Mercy Hands, sat together in a series of coordination and bilateral meetings to put plans to respond to new waves of displacement from the west part of Mosul. At that time, a decision was made to set up IDP camps in Salamiyah and the responsibility of distributing family food rations to new IDPs was given to Mercy Hands for its extensive experience in emergency distribution, warehousing, and logistics. Immediately, the Emergency Response team at Mercy Hands started to conduct field visits to Salamiyah and surrounding areas to asses security situation and roads and to search for the best sites to set up food warehouses and distribution centers. Many factors were considered in deciding where to set up the warehouses, such as security, accessibility, and ability to ensure the delivery of food to beneficiaries in a timely manner. Eventually, the Emergency Response team decided to set up the warehouses near Hammam Al-Alil, which is a town located in Mosul district near the west bank of Tigris river and just across the river from Salamiyah. This site was selected because it is relatively safe, close to IDP camps, and easily accessible. A potential risk to the operation is river flooding, which - if it happens - would cut the road between Hammam Al-Alil and Salamiyah. To mitigate this risk, the Emergency Response management put plans to deliver food from Mercy Hands' warehouses in Bazwaya, which is located north of Salamiyah at the eastern outskirts of Mosul city. After putting plans and designs, the Emergency Response team moved quickly to set up the new warehouses in Hammam Al-Alil and to recruit and train the warehousing and distribution staff. At the same time, the team management coordinated with the camps management and other relevant stakeholders to arrange for food distribution inside the camps. Moreover, Mercy Hands set up a community structure inside the camps in order to involve the IDPs in food distribution decision making process.
As of the time of writing this report (mid June 2017), there are two IDP camps in Salamiyah: Salamiyah-1 which was opened in May 25, 2017 and its capacity is 10000 persons, and Salamiyah-2 which was opened in June 1, 2017 and its capacity is 30000 persons. It is expected that Salamiyah-3 will open by the end of June.
Since the first day Salamiyah-1 IDP camp was opened, Mercy Hands started distributing monthly family food rations (FFRs) to all newly arriving IDPs. In May, Mercy Hands distributed a total of 912 FFRs to IDPs in Salamiyah-1. In June, Mercy Hands distributed a total of 1317 FFRs in Salamiyah-1 and 3225 FFRs in Salamiyah-2. It is expected that the workload will increase next month, as Salamiyah-3 will open and more IDPs arrive. Moreover, as of next month, Mercy Hands will start providing 2 FFRs to every IDP family that is made of 8 people or more, as directed by WFP. Noteworthy, each FFR consists of 30 Kg flour, 15 Kg rice, 5 Kg lentils, 5 Kg chickpeas, 5 Kg bulgur, 5 Kg sugar, 4.55 Kg vegetable oil, and 0.75 Kg salt.
Mercy Hands will continue its response to the humanitarian crisis in Mosul and provide its services to those who need it the most in the fields of emergency distribution, legal aid, and child and women protection.