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​Better Shelter and Ahalna Campaign provide temporary housing in Iraq

Press Release   •   Feb 02, 2016 10:13 CET

The Iraqi philanthropic association, Ahalna Campaign (حملةأهلنا), has placed an order of more than 250 Better Shelter units for its operations in the Baghdad area. The association plans to purchase a total of 500 shelters and aims to shelter more than 2500 persons, once sufficient funds have been secured.

“We have partnered with Better Shelter to house families that are in acute need of adequate shelter. The Better Shelter units are sustainable and provide a higher living standard than alternative temporary options,” says Sura Alrawi, PR manager at Ahalna Campaign.

Assembly of the first shelters received has commenced and construction will continue during the month of February in camps in the Ghazaliya area and the Takya area in Baghdad. Preparation of the campgrounds involves construction of concrete foundations, upon which the shelters are installed to better protect residents against cold temperature, heavy rains and flooding. The camps will host Iraqi internally displaced persons (IDPs) who have fled the militant group Daesh in other parts of the country. Besides shelter, Ahalna Campaign provides displaced families with clean water, food, medicines and various non-food items.

Ahalna Campaign was founded in 2015 by the Iraqi musician and WHO Goodwill Ambassador, Naseer Shamma, with a will to support Iraqi families who have fled conflicts in the country. Ahalna Campaign’s associates work on a voluntarily basis, and the association relies on funding from private donors. The mobile telecommunications company Zain provided funding for the first order of 100 shelters.

“We want to reach international communities and activists abroad for support of our fellow Iraqis, to protect them from further disasters, from cold, hunger and diseases,” says Sura Alrawi. "The conflicts in our country have resulted in unfathomable misery with so many deaths and destroyed families."

Iraq has an IDP population of more than 3.2 million persons, of which 10% live in camps, according to IOM. Finding long term employment is difficult and Ahalna Campaign has together with the Iraq Private Banks League initiated a program with an aim to empower women in particular, by providing micro loans and support in founding small enterprises within different fields, including tailoring and cooking.

During 2015, Better Shelter delivered more than 3500 shelters to different programs in Iraq and in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

About the Ahalna Campaign

The association was founded as part of a fundraising campaign in May 2015 by Iraqi oud player and WHO ambassador Naseer Shamma, with a mission to support Iraqi families who have been forced to flee the armed conflicts in the country. During 2015, the association distributed medicines, food and non-food items (including, cookers, water pumps and children’s toys) to displaced persons in Iraq. During 2015, Ahalna Campaign distributed aid and shelter worth more than US$250k. For more information, please contact Ahalna Campaign on +964 (0) 790 174 73 18, at donateforahalna@yahoo.com or ahalna.campaign@gmail.com, or visit www.ahalna-campaign.org/.

Better Shelter develops innovative housing solutions with a mission to improve the lives of persons displaced by armed conflicts and natural disasters. The Better Shelter is a weatherproof temporary shelter that offers a more dignified home for displaced families as well as a cost-effective solution for humanitarian organisations. Better Shelter is a Swedish social enterprise aiming to achieve social change at scale in a financially self-sustainable way. Every dollar generated in profit is reinvested within the company or distributed to Better Shelter’s philanthropic owner, the non-profit Housing for All Foundation. Better Shelter units are currently housing families and health care facilities in Ethiopia, Greece, Iraq, Macedonia and Nepal. In 2015, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) ordered 10,000 shelters for its operations worldwide. Better Shelter is the result of a partnership between the IKEA Foundation, UNHCR and Better Shelter. For more information, please visit www.bettershelter.org.

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