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The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) in collaboration with UNHCR has completed a Shelter Construction and Demarcation project in Qushtapa Camp, one of permanent sites in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq that is hosting more than 4,000 Syrian refugees.
The completion of 152 tent slabs, 124 walls, 23 kitchen slabs and 16 kitchen walls ended the initial phase of DRC's shelter project on 31 March, 2014. Improving refugees' shelters in Qushtapa Camp was an immediate intervention for reducing the effects of the extremely high amount of heat radiation experienced during summer times; and also helping to insulate the shelters from the moisture and muddy conditions brought in during the winter period. In the long run, it reinforces the goal of promoting a better quality of life for the Syrian refugees while ensuring a sustainable environment for the surrounding host population.
"Working hand-in-hand with the UNHCR, engaging the participation of local authorities, and utilizing the resources of local contractors in the implementation of this project, strongly manifested DRC's commitment to the principles of inclusion and respect of all stakeholders," says Ben Nixon, DRC Iraq's Head of Emergency; adding: "Although the delays encountered at its inception, it is worth acknowledging the significant steps taken by the Government to surmount internal challenges and correct the bottle-necks that threatened the early stages of the project."
In the next phase of the shelter project planned for 2014, DRC will construct additional 500 housing units and 125 kitchen structures, incorporating the lessons learnt from the first phase. DRC anticipates the continuation of the smooth partnership experienced with the UNHCR, and looks forward to strengthening the collaboration it has built with the local Government and the community of other stakeholders.