October 30, 2008, Los Angeles, Calif./Baghdad, Iraq - Threats against Christians living in Mosul intensified in early October, leading to the displacement of an estimated 11,000 persons. Many of those who left the city sought refuge in neighboring Tel Kef and Hamdaniya Districts, relying on community support networks, friends, and relatives for support.
International Medical Corps began responding to this crisis on October 9th, just 24 hours after being alerted by its Mosul staff to a humanitarian emergency in the area. Over the next two weeks, IMC delivered 142 tons of emergency food rations, hygiene kits, and household items to more than 2,000 families, or 8,044 displaced persons.
"As an international NGO well-positioned in the Mosul area, we were able to mobilize our resources quickly and effectively," says Agron Ferati, International Medical Corps Country Director in Iraq. "As soon as our field staff in Mosul reported an increase in violence, and that families were fleeing as a result, we contacted our coordination partners and strategic donors, namely UNHCR, UNICEF and OFDA. By using preexisting communications and supply networks, and with financial and relief items backing from these partners, we procured and delivered relief items within the first 48 hours."
International Medical Corps, supported by OFDA and UNCHR, provided each displaced family with comprehensive kits, including food, hygiene products, and household materials. These items were supplied at different distribution sites in eight locations throughout Tel Kef and Hamdaniya Districts. The response also reached Baghdad, delivering emergency kits to 45 displaced families.
International Medical Corps' most recent reports from field monitoring teams indicate that approximately 173 families have returned to Mosul, 106 families to Hamdaniya, and 67 families to Tel Kef. The Government of Iraq is offering displaced families and returnees financial assistance; however, fears of further violence have prevented many from returning.
International Medical Corps continues to monitor the situation along with its partners and has committed to providing assistance as needed.
International Medical Corps has been in Iraq since 2003, working in all governorates to provide emergency and developmental assistance. To view a slideshow of IMC's emergency response in Mosul, or to see our full report, please visit: http://www.imcworldwide.org/content/article/detail/1968/.
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