Displaced Iraqi families in worrying situation: UN
The situation of the Iraqi families recently displaced from the al-Baghdadi district in the western province of Anbar is alarming, the United Nations says.
About 200 families have reportedly been evacuated from a residential compound near Ain al-Asad air base after Iraqi security forces flushed out the ISIL Takfiri militants from the compound. The families have been airlifted to the Iraqi capital, Baghdad.
The evacuated families had been living under the Takfiri group’s siege and had limited access to food, water and medicine. At least five children have died of the dire living conditions in the area, according to reports.
“The situation facing these families is very worrying. They have been under siege for days and are highly vulnerable. We’re coordinating closely with the government to help them,” the United Nations Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General Lise Grande said on Tuesday.
On February 21, Iraqi troops, supported by local tribal fighters, managed to break the week-long siege on the residential compound in al-Baghdadi.
The ISIL siege, which had blocked the access of hundreds of families to food and medical supplies, was imposed after Iraqi security forces managed to retake the center of al-Baghdadi from the Takfiri militants earlier this month.
“UNHCR and its partners will continue to assess the needs of these newly-displaced families to ensure that their many vulnerabilities are addressed; including the need for psycho-social counselling, legal assistance, family kits, and cash assistance for the most vulnerable,” said Neill Wright, the representative of the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR.
According to the UN, in excess of 380,000 Iraqis are currently displaced within Anbar Province.
The extremist group started its campaign of terror in Iraq in early June 2014.