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Iraqi Kurdistan Gov't KRG failing to protect elderly ‎ 9.6.2012 
By Ruwayda Mustafah Rabar, Kurdish Rights

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Khadija Rasul and Mohammed Mustafa Mawlud. Photo: Ruwayda Mustafah Rabar.
June 9, 2012

ERBIL-Hewlęr, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — The Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) is failing to protect many elderly Kurds from neglect, abuse and fraud. They are often neglected in poor regions, sometimes by their own families and have no avenues to turn to. I visited one of the poor regions in the Hewler [Erbil]  province known as Gilkand. The roads were narrow, bumpy, dirty and neglected. The couple I visited could not read, or write. Khadija Rasul and Mohammed Mustafa Mawlud lived in a one-bedroom house, built with bricks, with no electricity or air conditioner. The weather is currently 30°C and will become more hot soon.

Mawlud was listening to his radio, with sweat rolling down his forehead and face. Khadija welcomed us inside, and talked about her life,
www.ekurd.net hardships and lack of assistance they have received. The couple lived in the Gilkand region, and without children. Khadija said, “We have no one to look after us. We don’t even know how to get the air conditioner to work”. She said locals have donated things to her family, and that she is often too shy to ask for their help, and would rather die than beg.

Although Mawlud and Khadija could not read or write, they had a mobile phone, but didn’t know their own number or how to use it. KRG needs to have a scheme to protect elderly people from neglect, to set-up institutions that monitor the health and surrounding of those who are above the age of 60, and to pay for their carers.

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