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International community must launch rapid humanitarian response as civilians flee violence

Humanitarian response needed | Action Against Hunger

London, 16 June 2014

As hundreds of thousands flee escalating violence in Iraq, the international community must act swiftly to mount a coordinated humanitarian response, warns humanitarian organisation Action Against Hunger | ACF International. 

Families have fled the city of Mosul to the official border between Iraq and the Regional Government of Kurdistan in their droves, leaving almost everything behind. The United Nations reports 100,000 internally displaced people in Erbil and 200,000 people in Dohuk  governates. 

‘An appropriate humanitarian response to desperately growing needs amongst civilians must be implemented as soon as possible to prevent the deterioration of health and humanitarian conditions in camps and host communities,’ said Jean Michel Grand, Action Against Hunger-UK’s Executive Director. 

Action Against Hunger’s priority is to meet the most immediate needs of those who have fled – namely, access to water, proper hygiene and sanitation. Managing the psychological trauma that inevitably accompanies violence and fleeing home, is also a concern. 

We have already started the drilling of latrine pits and our teams are preparing a platform for water tanks. We will open an additional base in Dohuk to support the efforts of regional authorities in their reception of displaced persons.

Action Against Hunger has been present in the region since 2013, helping more than 200,000 Syrians in the refugee camps of Gawilan and Basirma to access clean water and appropriate sanitation and hygiene.