When violence broke out in Samaraa city in Iraq’s Salaheldin governorate, Umm Ibrahim, an Iraqi woman in her eighties, took shelter with nine other family members inside a relative’s garage. Two nights later, they fled to Peramagroon district in the nearby Suleymaniyah governorate, where they now live inside a public school with twelve other displaced families.
PERAMAGROON, Iraq – Umm Ibrahim gathers with her children and grandchildren inside a public school building in Peramagroon, where they are allowed to stay during the school’s summer break with permission from the Kurdistan region authorities. The family came here to escape bombing in their hometown of Samaraa.
Umm Ibrahim is among some 90,000 people who have been assisted by WFP after fleeing the violence that first hit Mosul and spread to surrounding cities and governorates in mid-June. The food she has received will keep her and her family fed for two weeks.
“I am very sad at our present circumstances. What are we supposed to do here? I want to go back to my hometown,” said Umm Ibrahim. Nearby, her sons and grandchildren are huddled together - three generations of an Iraqi family displaced by violence in their home city.
One of Umm Ibrahim’s sons, Ismail, outlines the circumstances of their displacement. He explains that they left the garage where they took shelter in Samaraa and headed to Tikrit city in Salaheldin governorate before fleeing to the mountainous village of Peramagroon. His daughter, eight-year-old Sarah, expresses her nostalgia for her hometown.
“It is so hot; we need clean water to drink,“ said Sarah. “I want to return to Samaraa to play with my friends.” Hundreds of families are displaced in Peramagroon following violence in Samaraa. Most of them currently have no source of income and depend entirely on the food delivered by WFP.
The organization plans to reach over 200,000 people displaced by Iraq’s recent conflict in coming weeks. Most of WFP’s food distributions so far have taken place in the Kurdistan region as well as in shelters and camps on the outskirts of Mosul. “The situation is very critical”, Ismail said.