Humanitarian Partners Are Reaching Thousands with Emergency Assistance Daily
During the past week, well over 100,000 civilians have fled from Kirkuk, Makhmur and Tuz Khomato districts. Smaller numbers have fled Zummar – approximately 4000 at last report. The situation remains very fluid, with people sometimes fleeing for less than 24 hours before returning home.
UN, non-governmental and civil society partners are rushing to provide assistance to highly vulnerable families. More than 15,000 emergency food rations have been distributed and mobile medical teams are visiting camps and villages to provide health care. Emergency support including water, blankets, hygiene items and household kits is being distributed in areas hosting displaced people.
“Humanitarians are making every effort to reach vulnerable people with the assistance they need,” said Lise Grande, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq. “The situation remains volatile, and many people are returning to their homes only to flee for a second or third time when hostilities erupt again.”
“We are extremely concerned by reports of violence, looting and destruction. Everything has to be done by authorities on all sides to ensure the safety of families caught up in recent events. Nothing is more important than protecting civilians.”
Iraqi forces are seeking to impose Baghdad’s authority over territory which the Kurdish authorities took after the Islamic State (ISIS) captured large swathes of territory in the country.
On October 16 and 17, federal troops and Hashid al-Shaabi retook the province of Kirkuk and its lucrative oil fields, as well as formerly Kurdish-held areas of Nineveh and Diyala provinces -- all outside the Kurdistan region’s administration.
The 48-hour operation saw the Kurdish region almost entirely returned to its longstanding three-province autonomous region in the north.