Erbil, 12th August 2014 – Following recent fighting in the North of Iraq, a humanitarian crisis is taking place before the eyes of the humanitarian community. In total, 850,000 people have fled the fighting over the last two months. Over the last seven days alone, 350,000 people have found refuge in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, where the humanitarian community is working to respond to the urgent needs.
The situation in the Sinjar mountains is even more worrying, where tens of thousands of people of the Yazidi community, already victims of mass atrocities, are cut off from the refuge area of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and consequently from all humanitarian aid. Entire families are now fighting for survival, with no access to basic essential needs (water, food, medicine). The lack of water and dehydration have sadly already caused for the loss of several children’s lives. Air drops of humanitarian assistance is a first indispensable step to save lives, but this cannot be considered as sufficient.
The French NGO ACTED is strengthening its emergency response by delivering aid for the thousands of displaced people that are managing to find refuge in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. In partnership with the United Nations, our teams have been mobilized every day, and have thus been able to provide aid to over 100, 000 people since the beginning of the crisis. Basic foods, especially water and ready to eat food, are distributed every day to the thousands of displaced people by our teams.
However, it is currently impossible for ACTED and other aid actors to respond to the ongoing humanitarian disaster in Sinjar, where aid is for now limited to airdrops. Consequently, ACTED believes that a humanitarian corridor, negotiated and accepted by all parties, will enable the provision of a response that is imperative in view of the distressful situation of those displaced. The Yazidi community is in danger, and without humanitarian access to these populations, people will continue to die of thirst, food and persecution.
ACTED is one of the main French international solidarity NGOs. For 20 years we have been providing aid to populations affected by crisis with an approach that is both global and local, multidisciplinary and adapted to each context. ACTED currently intervene in 35 countries, supporting 10 million beneficiaries in facing emergency situations, supporting rehabilitation projects and accompanying the dynamics of development. ACTED has been supporting populations in the Middle East since 2004. Today our teams are mobilized and working on interventions to respond to the Syrian refugee crisis. More information here: www.acted.org.
Adrien TOMARCHIO, Communications Director
- 33 (0)6 85 91 28 62
Gaia Van Der Esch, Deputy Regional Director
Clement ROUQUETTE, Country Representative Iraq