Baghdad, 21 January 2014 – Following an exponential increase in the number of displaced and stranded families by the ongoing fighting in several cities and towns in the province of Anbar, and their growing needs, the United Nations in Iraq is scaling up its support to the humanitarian response.
As of 20 January, 22,151 families have registered as Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), mainly in Anbar Governorate, but also in Erbil, Salah-Al-Din, Kerbala, Babylon, Najaf, and Baghdad. The actual number of displaced is presumed to be higher, as not all those who have been displaced have been registered.
“Reaching the people affected by the fighting remains a significant challenge. The UN in Iraq continues to work closely with the Government of Iraq, provincial authorities in Anbar and local leaders to reach the families in the areas where clashes continue as well as those fleeing from the fighting,” the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (SRSG), Mr. Nickolay Mladenov, said.
By January 20th:
• UNHCR has distributed a total of 1,360 Core Relief Items (CRIs) family kits, composed of blankets, plastic tarpaulins, kitchen sets, sleeping mattresses, and hygienic supplies to accommodate five family members each.
• UNICEF continued to deliver relief items including Non Food and Shelter related Items (15 tents, 300 plastic mattresses, and 5,634 blankets), as well as a range of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene related items, including plastic buckets (5000), family, adult and baby hygiene kits (150 + 450 + 533 respectively), dust bins (300), disinfectant (600 packs), water kits (50), toilet soaps (20,160 units) and female sanitary pads (300). It has also provided one Emergency Health Kit, as access to health care services becomes increasingly difficult
• WFP distributed 130.2 metric tons of food parcels each weighing 65.1 kg. On 14 January 2014, WHO supplied three Trauma Kits, two for hospitals in Fallujah and one for use by hospitals in Ramadi (One Trauma Kit is sufficient for 100 surgical interventions).
• UNFPA has provided clinical kits, as well as hygiene and clean delivery kits for pregnant women.
• IOM has distributed to date 775 Non Food Items kits and is securing storage facilities in several locations near the IDPs settlements.
Additionally, following a request by the Kurdistan Regional Government, UNHCR has refurbished the Baharka temporary site in Erbil Governorate. Tents, electricity and sanitation facilities have been installed and the facility is ready to accommodate up to 300 families. In Suleymaniya, some sections of Arbat camp, originally built for Syrian refugees, have been made available to accommodate IDPs.
“As security operations in Anbar continue, it is vital that everything possible is done to protect the civilian population from further violence. Restoring law and order to the region must remain a priority. It requires the continued cooperation between the armed forces, the police, the provincial authorities and local leaders,” Mr. Mladenov said.