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Tuesday, 24 February 2015 15:43

UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq and UNHCR Representative visit families displaced from Al Baghdadi District

Baghdad, Iraq: The United Nations Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General/Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq – Ms. Lise Grande and the UNHCR Representative in Iraq - Neill Wright today visited some of the Iraqi families recently displaced from Al Baghdadi district in the western province of Anbar. 

 

Approximately 200 families have already been evacuated from Mojama’a Al-Hay Al- Sakani near Ain Al-Asad Air Base after the Iraqi Security forces broke the ISIS siege of the area. Airlifts of the most vulnerable families have been carried out by the Iraqi government authorities to Baghdad. 

The evacuated families have reportedly been living under siege, with limited access to clean water, food or medicines. Five children are reported to have died as a result of the dire conditions suffered by residents of the city. 

UNHCR and its partners met the families upon their arrival in Baghdad to assess their immediate needs. Initial assessments have shown that 65% of those displaced were women. The distribution of emergency relief items has started and will continue to take place in the coming days to ensure that all those staying with family members and friends, in various neighborhoods of Baghdad receive the help they need. 

"The situation facing these families is very worrying. They have been under siege for days and are highly vulnerable. We're coordinating closely with the Government to help them."Grande said. 

The UNHCR Representative affirmed that “UNHCR and its partners will continue to assess the needs of these newly-displaced families to ensure that their many vulnerabilities are addressed; including the need for psycho-social counseling, legal assistance, family kits, and cash assistance for the most vulnerable”. 

Across central Iraq, the internal displacement of Iraqi citizens continues, often in areas where aid agencies have limited access. The ongoing conflict in the Anbar Governorate is causing fresh displacement near the cities of Al Baghdadi, Haditha, Ramadi and Fallujah. IDPs in these areas are reported to be in urgent need of fuel, food and medicine, with growing shortages of basic food items and prices spiraling. 

 The generous contribution of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well as contributions by many other international donors, have so far enabled UN agencies to procure such emergency relief items for the growing number of displaced Iraqi citizens. However, as the conflict continues, and new waves of displacement occur, more funding is urgently needed to respond in the coming months. 

Throughout Iraq, 2.25 million Iraqis are estimated to have been displaced since January 2014. Over 380,000 are currently displaced within the Anbar Governorate. 

For more information, please contact: 

•        In Erbil, Bathoul Ahmed (UNHCR) on mobile +962-790224281 

•        In Baghdad, Natalia Micevic (UNHCR) on mobile +964-780 919 3947 

•        In Erbil, David Swanson (OCHA) on mobile +964-750 3770849 

 

Additional Info

  • Agency: UNHCR, UN OCHA

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