UN Calls for Relocation of Civilians to Safer Areas

The top United Nations humanitarian official in Iraq has said she is deeply worried about thousands of civilians who are trapped in Fallujah city and in Sinjar district and are unable to access aid, calling on Government officials to redouble efforts to relocate civilians to safer areas before the situation deteriorates further.

Although the UN is unable to access civilians in Fallujah city in Anbar Governorate, which remains under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), information from key informants indicates that conditions are deteriorating rapidly, said Lise Grande, the UN’s Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, in a press release.

“We are receiving reports of hunger and shortages of medicines and essential supplies. We know that people are trying to leave the city but are prevented from doing so; we fear that the situation is becoming desperate,” Ms. Grande said.

As she called on the Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government to uphold their obligations under humanitarian law and redouble their efforts to facilitate the evacuation and relocation of civilians to safer areas with food, water and medical care, Ms. Grande stressed that urgent steps are necessary to alleviate the suffering of people struggling to survive in the country.

“As humanitarians, we have a common responsibility to save lives,” she said.

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