By Mohammed Khuzai, Iraqi Red Crescent Society.
Since early July, heavy fighting in Shirqat city in the Iraqi governorate of Nineveh has led to a great wave of displacement. More than 5,000 families were forced to leave their homes and seek refuge in Tikrit, the administrative centre of Salah Eddine province.
Many displaced families stayed in buildings and schools as temporary accommodation, while others stayed at relatives’ houses. A camp was also established to host displaced families between Mosul and Tikrit.
Amid increasing challenges, Iraqi Red Crescent Society was quick to mobilize its staff, volunteers and resources to respond to urgent needs. Since the early hours of displacement, the National Society has formed field teams to provide relief aid and health services to internally displaced people.
President of Iraqi Red Crescent Society, Dr Yaseen Ahmed Abbass, who oversaw relief operations in Tikrit, said: “The volunteers of the Red Crescent are the most capable to respond to crises across the country. They play a significant role in all regions witnessing human suffering.”
“We are keen on carrying on with relief operations on ground, as the first responders in the humanitarian field in Iraq. This requires doubling our efforts in relief operations and in the provision of health services to ease the suffering of families enduring hardship.”
The organization’s teams are responding in two ways to the Shirqat displacement wave. Volunteers are providing clean drinking water, ice blocks and ready-to-eat meals to displaced families in camps. So far, more than 4,500 people have received meals, while 23,000 loaves of bread, 26,000 bottles of water and 655 ice blocks have been distributed.