World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Extreme Concern For Iraqis Fleeing Fallujah

UN Refugee Agency Voices Extreme Concern For Iraqis Fleeing Fallujah Assault

The United Nations refugee agency today voiced extreme concern over the fate of tens of thousands of Iraqis who have fled the city of Fallujah to escape the fierce fighting in an assault launched on rebels there by United States and Government forces.

“The most immediate needs of the displaced are food, shelter, water and sanitation and health care,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR) spokesperson Jennifer Clark told a news briefing in Geneva.

UNHCR, which has no international presence on the ground in Iraq, is part of a joint emergency group with the International Committee for the Red Cross and non-government organizations (NGOs) based in Amman, Jordan. The group is in close contact with colleagues inside Iraq and with partner organizations monitoring the situation.

The displaced people are staying with relatives, friends or other Iraqis around Fallujah. Some have been provided with tents. The majority of civilians appear to have left the city, although it is difficult to establish numbers with any certainty, Ms. Clark said.

Despite the extremely volatile security situation in the country, UNHCR has continued to facilitate voluntary repatriation of Iraqis insisting on going home from camps in neighbouring Iran. Over the past two weeks, 64 people returned to southern Iraq, while more than 700 people returned to northern areas, bringing the total of facilitated returns to 18,115 people since August 2003. UNHCR also facilitated returns from Jordan.

Repatriations are becoming increasingly difficult with deteriorating weather conditions. Near the northern Iraqi border it has been raining steadily for the last three days and the convoys can take a long time getting to their destination. It is not clear how long the repatriation movements from the north of Iran can continue with the weather getting worse and snow expected to fall soon.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

OECD: COVID-19 Crisis Puts Migration And Progress On Integration At Risk, Says

Watch the live webcast of the press conference Migration flows have increased over the past decade and some progress has been made to improve the integration of immigrants in the host countries. But some of these gains may be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic ... More>>


Pacific Media Watch: How Pacific Environmental Defenders Are Coping With The Covid Pandemic

SPECIAL REPORT: By Sri Krishnamurthi of Pacific Media Watch Pacific Climate Warriors - creative action to trigger better responses to climate crisis. Image: ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>

OHCHR: Stranded Migrants Need Safe And Dignified Return – UN Migrant Workers Committee

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers has today called on governments to take immediate action to address the inhumane conditions of migrant workers who are stranded in detention camps and ensure they can have an orderly, safe and dignified return to ... More>>