300,000 people were forced to leave their houses; Iraqi Red Crescent is responding

Published: 12 June 2014 10:06 CET

The escalation of violence and unrest in Nineveh, the second biggest governorate in Iraq, and Salaheddin and Diyala provinces has forced thousands of families to flee their homes seeking refuge near Kurdistan region.

Fighting carried out by armed groups has reached several major cities in the country including Mosul, Samara, Baquba, and Ramadi. Mosul, the second city of Iraq, has fallen under the control of armed groups along with most of the province of Ninewa. Accurate figures of casualties are unavailable, but reports claim the figures stand in the hundreds.

Through its branches in Erbil, Dohuk, Sulaimaniah and Kirkuk governorates, the Iraqi Red Crescent Society immediately responded and activated an operations room to provide food aid and tents for the families displaced from Mosul to the northern provinces.

In just two days, more than 300,000 individuals have entered Kurdistan region, according to the Iraqi Red Crescent Society, and more than 32,000 displaced people from Mosul had to sleep in the open.

The Assistant to the Secretary General of the Iraqi Red Crescent Society, Mohammad Alkhozai said: “The Iraqi Red Crescent operations room was formed from six provinces as we mobilized all our resources to assist the displaced families. We are coordinating with the authorities in Kurdistan to erect camps for the displaced”.

“Our volunteers are working tirelessly to assist the displaced people located in Erbil and Dohuk governorate. We have provided more than 60,000 hot meals in these two governorates.

“Iraqi Red Crescent teams in the Dohuk and Erbil have distributed food aid and water for more than 20,000 displaced citizens in the past two days as well as provided tents in some areas.”

Families are now taking refuge in host communities, mosques and public buildings, and others are temporarily residing in hotels.

Alkhozai expressed concern about the humanitarian situation of citizens especially within the city of Mosul due to the lack of electricity, health services and other essential requirements.

Updated 12/06/2014:7.48pm with new figures.