UN Worried about Anbar Refugees

The United Nations Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General, Lise Grande, along with Neill Wright, the country’s UN refugee agency (UNHCR) representative, today visited Iraqi families recently displaced from Al Baghdadi district in the western province of Anbar.

“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,” Ms. Grande who is also the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq said in a statement.

Approximately 200 families have already been evacuated from Mojama’a Al-Hay Al- Sakani near Ain Al-Asad Air Base after the Iraqi Security forces broke the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) siege of the area.

Officials say that the distribution of emergency relief items has started and will continue to take place in the coming days to ensure that all those staying with family members and friends, in various neighbourhoods of Baghdad receive the help they need. According to initial assessments, 65 per cent of those displaced are women.

Airlifts of the most vulnerable families have also been carried out by Iraqi Government authorities to Baghdad. The evacuated families have reportedly been living under siege, with limited access to clean water, food or medicines. Five children are reported to have died as a result of the dire conditions suffered by residents of the city.

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