Displaced Iraqi families from the Yazidi community shelter from the blistering sun as they cross the Iraqi-Syrian border at the Fishkhabur crossing, in northern Iraq, on August 11, 2014
Displaced Iraqi families from the Yazidi community shelter from the blistering sun as they cross the Iraqi-Syrian border at the Fishkhabur crossing, in northern Iraq, on August 11, 2014 © Ahmad al-Rubaye - AFP
Displaced Iraqi families from the Yazidi community shelter from the blistering sun as they cross the Iraqi-Syrian border at the Fishkhabur crossing, in northern Iraq, on August 11, 2014
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Serene Assir
Last updated: August 13, 2014

Yazidi survivors of Iraq mountain ordeal demand more aid

Banner Icon Scores of young men and children held a protest demanding more aid Wednesday at the Bajid Kandala camp that is hosting thousands of desperate Iraqi Yazidis who fled a jihadist onslaught on Sinjar.

Scores of young men and children held a protest demanding more aid Wednesday at the Bajid Kandala camp that is hosting thousands of desperate Iraqi Yazidis who fled a jihadist onslaught on Sinjar.

"We have no bread, and very little water. We need help. We want to get out of here. We are so desperate we want to leave Iraq," said Nasser, a 30-year-old protester.

"There is no UN here, no human rights groups. We have very little food. The lucky ones get a meal a day. Many others go hungry," said Khodhr Hussein, a 44-year-old with dark wrinkled skin and a thick moustache.

"Many people are sleeping in the sun, the camp is not big enough for everybody," he said.

A Kurdish official running the camp told AFP that the local authorities have a partnership with the United Nations' refugee agency (UNHCR).

"The Kurdish autonomous government is running the camp and we are doing all we can. But of course we welcome all the help we can get to cater for the displaced. It is impossible for us to handle such a recent crisis overnight," said Saadullah Abdullah Hamid.

According to Hamid, Bajid Kandala serves as a transit camp for Yazidis evacuated by Kurdish troops from the Sinjar mountain in recent days, fleeing a siege and killings by the jihadist Islamic State.

Every day, he said, families are moved to other camps elsewhere in northern Iraq.

Speaking to AFP, UNHCR spokesman Ned Cole confirmed that the Kurdish authorities are running the camps, with the support of the United Nations.

He admitted it was proving extremely difficult to meet the needs of the fleeing population.

"One of the problems is the emergency is so fast-moving," Cole said. "The UN is relocating emergency supplies to meet the needs. But people are scattered over such a wide area... that it is very hard to keep pace."

But according to Haidar, a 33-year-old father who fled Sinjar three days ago along with his family, more should be done for the fresh evacuees.

"International organisations need to work here. Everyone is hungry," he said, sheltering himself and his family from the scorching desert sun in the shade of a tractor.

Some of the displaced said they had given up on Iraq.

"We were besieged for 10 days in the mountain. The whole world is talking about us but we did not get any real help," said Hussein. "We went from hunger in Sinjar to hunger in this camp."

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