Nadia’s Initiative, an organization founded by U.N. Goodwill Ambassador Nadia Murad has just completed a detailed assessment of the Yazidi homeland of Sinjar in Northern Iraq. The report offers the most comprehensive analysis of the region despite the global recognition of the ISIS’s genocidal program in Sinjar.
The situation in Sinjar is dire. The few Yazidis who have returned to their homeland in Southern Sinjar face fatalities due to the overwhelming amounts of landmines left by the Islamic State. On a daily basis, families struggle to meet basic needs for nutrition, health, and education without a proper humanitarian assistance. Presently there are over 300,000 internally displaced Yazidis residing in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, mostly living in deteriorating IDP camps where temporary shelters like tents have become semi-permanent homes. Unless the Yazidis can return to their ancient homeland and make a life for themselves, ISIS’s program of genocide will be a success.
If Sinjar redevelops and the Yazidi people can return, it will be a critical accomplishment with positive repercussions for the region and beyond. ISIS’s aim of erasing the Yazidis from history must not only fail but backfire. We must establish mechanisms that not only prosecute genocide but undermine its effectiveness as a tactic.
To address this need in January of this year, we launched the Sinjar Action Fund (https://nadiasinitiative.org/saf/). Initially, we had planned to direct donations and pledges of support from supporting governments, such as France, to specific programs based on assessments conducted by local or international NGOs working in the region. We soon discovered no evaluation existed, making an informed allocation of funds impossible. Partly as a consequence of this, aid money goes directly to cities such as Mosul, but does not flow to Sinjar To address this shortfall, we commissioned our own needs assessment of Sinjar. The assessment shines a spotlight on the dangerous conditions for Yazidis trying to return home. It offers insights on issues and obstacles stagnating re-development in the region and provides a geographic breakdown of the most vulnerable communities. It also serves as historical document detailing ISIS’s brutal campaign of genocide and destruction conducted against ordinary men, women, and children.
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