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Families left with nothing after IS militants take Sinjar

9 October 2014

Krishman was forced to leave his home and his job when Islamic State (IS) militants attacked Sinjar, Iraq.


His family were given just three hours to pack what little they could and make their way 170km east to Dohuk, and then later on to Sulaymaniyah.

They arrived with nothing but the clothes on their backs. They now live in a crowded garage space, unsure what will happen next.

Krishman said that IS militants took Sinjar in August. Some of his family members chose to stay behind - he has since learned that two have been lost.

One was killed and the other is missing - the family think IS militants took him. They have kept this a secret from their 97-year-old grandfather, for fear that the news might kill him.

Krishman is also worried for his people, the Yazidis: ‘I can’t think of anything except the thousands and thousands of my people [who were] left on Sinjar mountain. We stay strong for our children.’

The Yazidis - alongside many other people from all faiths, including Christians - have faced persecution and thousands have been displaced as a result of the conflict.

Fears for the future

Krishman rents an empty garage space in Sulaymaniyah to house his family and four orphans, whose parents are either dead or missing.

Conditions are crowded as 33 people share the space. The family spent all their money on rent last month and Krishman is worried that they won't have enough for the future.

Many of the men were day labourers in Sinjar but have been unable to find work in Sulaymaniyah. Expenses were much less as they owned their houses but now they're struggling to find the funds for rent.

At least 10 of the family also need immediate medical attention, but Krishman does not have the money to travel or to buy their medication.

Fourteen-year-old Katun is diabetic. The family have to borrow money for her daily insulin but they still have no way of testing her sugar levels.

  • Life was great in Sinjar, we were comfortable. We owned our own homes. We have nothing here. We left everything behind.'

What we’re doing

Our partner, REACH, is now working with people who have been displaced by the violence in Iraq.

They're supporting some of the most vulnerable families with essentials such as food, mattresses and pillows, and health and hygiene items.

Please help us to scale up our efforts to respond to the growing and desperate crisis sweeping across parts of the country by giving what you can to our Iraq Crisis Appeal.


Iraq Crisis Appeal

Help those left with nothing

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