In Northern Iraq the emergency continues. There are 700,000 evacuees by now and the local Kurdish authorities are unable to meet the needs of the constantly increasing flow of refugees on their own. The evacuees – recently primarily Iraqi Christians and Yazidis – are fleeing from combat and Islamic State violence which has reached all the way to the borders between the Kurdish region and the central Baghdad government.
In one of these areas, Khanaqeen, EMERGENCY has opened a healthcare center to provide assistance to the refugees living in makeshift camps where they have no access to even the most basic services: water, electricity, toilet facilities. The EMERGENCY team, made up of local and international staff, treat more than 50 people a day.
Currently most of the evacuees are arriving from Jalawla, which has just fallen under Islamic State control. At the clinic we met M. who fled here with her brother and 4 children:
“When the IS militia lost control of the city they came into our homes and made off with everything. I fled with my brother and my children because my husband is in the army and if they had found out about this they would surely have killed us. We are living in a very difficult situation, all of us in a tent with 50°C degrees, without potable water and electricity for at least 8 hours a day. But at least we are alive.”
In Northern Iraq EMERGENCY also opened a healthcare center last month in the Arbat refugee camp where about 3,000 people who fled from the war in Syria are living. In addition to basic healthcare, the center’s staff provides gynecological and obstetric care for women and an immunization program, as well as a nutritional growth monitoring service for children under five years of age.
Since 1995 EMERGENCY has treated over 391,389 people in Iraq with high-standard free-of-charge medical and surgical services.To learn more about EMERGENCY‘s programs in Iraq, click here. If you would like to help provide free-of-charge medical care, please click here to donate now.