The Kurdistan Regional Government Joint Crisis Coordination Center (JCC) has published a comprehensive assessment report on the destruction of the Yezidi town Shingal (Sinjar). In the report, the assessment team noted the total and severe destruction of the city caused by heavy fighting, airstrikes and IEDs planted by ISIS. The city is heavily damaged and the majority of the private homes are looted. Public buildings, schools, hospitals and social service infrastructure are destroyed. Public and private assets were either destroyed or looted including equipment, furniture and machinery of government institutions, private property, material possessions and livestock of local people and the property of businesses.
The nature and scale of the damage varies from one area to another. The neighbourhoods surrounding public buildings in the city centre are completely destroyed as many of the multi-story public buildings and facilities were used as operational base and fighting positions for ISIS. The local shops and markets are levelled to the ground, some due to the fighting and others burned or blasted selectively and deliberately by ISIS. The deliberate targets were primarily the properties of the Yezidis and other religious minorities as indicated by the signs and markings left by ISIS to indicate which building should or should not be destroyed.
The general damage to social services infrastructure is estimated at 70%, and for private houses around 30%. It is estimated that USD 10.1 million will be needed within the coming six months for cleaning the city and basic restoration of critical services.
The needs are colossal and the administration has no funds to address even the most immediate needs. The estimated amount covers priorities ranked by urgency to achieve minimum standards in service delivery until more resources are available for gradual and full restoration of basic public services to the pre-crisis condition and investments for long-term reconstruction and development.
The city was liberated only two weeks before the rapid damage assessment was carried out. Therefore, there is a legitimate concern and prevailing fear that the city is extensively mined with IEDs and other explosives. The engineering team of the Ministry of Peshmerga has started to clean and clear the city and on the day of the assessment team’s visit, they had cleared most of the main roads, streets and public offices and buildings. The clearing process takes time due to the prevalence of mines and IEDs, limited number of engineers and the size of the area liberated. Clearing the city from IEDs remains the top priority and a precondition before any activities can start to rehabilitate and restore the public services infrastructure. Table (1) below presents an overview of the priorities and the estimated cost for immediate needs.
It is important to note that the population, particularly the Yezidis, need extensive assistance for safe and dignified return to their homes and to create conditions for their safety, enjoyment of rights and to recover economically, socially and psychologically. Therefore, the KRG calls upon the international community to provide funding and support for all efforts to reconstruct the city of Shingal and reestablish its Yezidi community.