Plans are currently underway to send teams to the Jordanian-Iraqi border to help establish a refugee camp expected to hold 10,000 to 20,000 displaced Iraqis. Relief International members will be providing emergency medical care, as well as planning logistics for water, sanitation, and the movement and distribution of supplies.
In addition, Relief International has prepared its own staff as well as the staff of other relief organizations for the possibility of unconventional weapons warfare. Mark Stinson, a volunteer emergency medical doctor with Relief International hosted a training session in Amman, Jordan at the beginning of March. (please see sidebar "Relief International Hosts CBRNE Training for Deployment in Iraq").
Amid the growing fears of war and its consequence is the scale of the impending humanitarian crisis. Already struggling from two decades of political inequality and the resulting economic sanctions, the Iraqi population will face incredible hardships should the conflict escalate into a prolonged war.
Relief International's current estimates for the scale of the humanitarian crisis are cause for concern:
- Over 50% of Iraq's population will be
left with no source for clean drinking water.
- Up to 10 million people may suffer from
some degree of starvation now that food distribution has ceased altogether.
- Up to 2 million people will face displacement.
- Anywhere from 600,000 to 1.5 million will be forced to become refugees in neighboring countries.
Whatever the cause, wherever the conflict, Relief International remains dedicated to providing humanitarian assistance to those in need. Together, we can make a difference.