UNHCR tracking figures indicate an estimated 18,890 families have been displaced from Ramadi and surrounding areas in Anbar Governorate between 8 and 20 April, of which 6,461 families are displaced within Anbar, while the remaining families have travelled to Baghdad (9,000), Babylon (314), and most recently Kerbala (600) and Sulaymaniyah (2,515). The majority of new arrivals are dispersed across numerous unidentified locations, hampering rapid assistance.
Estimates on new arrivals from Ramadi in Kerbala vary greatly, ranging from 600 families upwards.
The number of affected families needs to be verified urgently, in order to plan response actions accordingly. Many of those arriving in Kerbala have traveled on to Baghdad once they have cleared security checks.
Fighting over the city of Ramadi is continuing and the city is deserted of civilians. Reportedly, the maternity and general hospitals were stormed by armed groups, and patients were left behind. In response a field hospital was established in Al-Khaldiyah.
The number of people previously blocked at Bzbiz Bridge and nearby checkpoint has reduced significantly. The majority of internally displaced persons (IDPs) proceeded to Sulaymaniyah or Baghdad governorates. People were not allowed to cross the checkpoint by car, constituting an obstacle to transportation, which was partially addressed by the Ministry of Trade who provided buses and other transport for displaced families.
To date, people have only been permitted to enter Baghdad Governorate if they had confirmed sponsorship. There are contradictory reports on whether this restriction has been lifted. Families without a sponsor are being gathered in mosques or other collective centres as a holding pattern.
In order to cope with the huge influx of IDPs, the Joint Coordination and Monitoring Centre (JCMC) has identified seven locations for additional collective centers in Baghdad. UNHCR has assessed four of the locations, of which two to three are in the process of being prepared for immediate use.
UN agencies are already coordinating and discussing the installation of WASH facilities, shelter and other assistance, in order to ensure rapid assistance upon finalization of the assessments.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.