International Medical Corps’ team on the ground in Iraq is closely monitoring the humanitarian situation as increased violence has forced an estimated 500,000 people to flee their homes.
“As the fighting intensifies, people will be moving out of urban areas into surrounding communities, greatly stressing the current systems’ capacity to meet basic humanitarian needs,” said Gerald Evans, Iraq Country Director for International Medical Corps. “It’s not clear yet how the situation will evolve in the next few days but International Medical Corps is well placed to launch a humanitarian response if needed.”
On June 7th, heavy fighting broke out between armed groups resulting in heavy casualties in Iraq’s second largest city of Mosul and spread rapidly throughout other cities. Health needs appear to be significant and main health facilities are currently inaccessible due to fighting. Iraq’s Deputy Minister of Migration and Displacement has made an urgent appeal to the UN, international organizations, and diplomats for support to meet immediate needs such as water, food, medical care, sanitation, shelter, and critical supplies.
Having operated in Iraq for over a decade, International Medical Corps is able to immediately deliver a comprehensive health response and critical supplies to those displaced by the violence. All International Medical Corps’ country program activities are ongoing, although some activities in Baghdad and Mosul were temporarily affected by the ongoing insurgency.
Despite escalating levels of violence that have gripped Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein, International Medical Corps has worked uninterrupted in all 18 of Iraq’s governorates. The organization provided primary and secondary health care as well as livelihood training to some of the 1.5 million people displaced inside Iraq during the years of violence.