Humanitarian partners race to reach people fleeing Heet and areas west of Ramadi

(Baghdad, 16 March 2016): Humanitarian partners are rushing to provide emergency assistance to an estimated 35,000 people who have been newly displaced in hard-to-reach areas west of Ramadi.

Lise Grande, the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator said, “Thousands of people who have been trapped in Heet for months are trying to reach safety. The UN doesn’t have full access and we are very worried that some of the families who are escaping are in areas very close to the front lines. We are worried for their safety.”

Displaced families are receiving ready-to-eat food, safe drinking water and hygiene kits through the Rapid Response Mechanism, which is managed by UNICEF and the World Food Programme and supported by the UN’s Population Fund, the International Organization for Migration and nine non-governmental organizations.

Health assistance is being provided by the World Health Organization, which has dispatched two mobile health clinics and two medical teams. “You can tell how difficult conditions are in Heet by how many people are seeking urgent health assistance. The mobile clinics dealt with 1,300 consultations during just their first two days.”

Prior to the displacement from Heet, more than 53,000 people had been displaced in Anbar Governorate since the beginning of the year. Many of these families have sought safety and help in already overcrowded camps and temporary settlements in and around Ameriyat al Falluja IDP complex, Habbaniyah Tourist City, and Bzeibiz bridge.

The United Nations and partners have requested US$861 million for 2016 to provide emergency relief to 7.3 million vulnerable Iraqis. Only 9 per cent, $75 million, has been received so far.

“The humanitarian crisis in Iraq continues to worsen. Additional resources are urgently needed so we can help people who depend on humanitarians to survive,” said Ms. Grande.

For further information, please contact: Cecilia Attefors, Humanitarian Affairs Officer, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Iraq, ( /+964 (0)751 1352880)

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