Global Perspectives Initiative has spoken to Mirza Dinnayi, Yazidi activist, Co-Founder and Managing Director of the Airbridge Iraq and recipient of numerous awards, such as the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity 2019, about the consequences of COVID-19 on Yazidi refugees.
COVID-19 has now reached countries all around the globe, including those already shattered by war and conflict. The genocide of the Yazidis in Iraq had caused thousands of internally displaced persons, who now live in camps in Northern part of the country.
As Mirza Dinnayi states, 300.000 Yazidis are currently living in refugee camps, which equals 80% of the Yazidi community. Due to the living conditions there – families are living in narrowly spaced tents and are using the same kitchen and sanitary facilities – social distancing is not viable.
Airbridge Iraq is relying on open borders and free movement to bring children and women abroad for treatment of their war injuries. However, with countries closing their external borders after the outbreak of COVID-19, many activities of the Airbridge Iraq had to be suspended or postponed.
Mirza Dinnayi concludes that humanitarianism and global solidarity are the two most important measures to counter the shock of the countries and the closing of the borders.
Silvia Mayr, Project Management