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

 


Binoy Kampmark: Europe Dries Up
Scenes and pictures have been circulating of broken earth, lacking moisture, cracked and yearning. But these are not from traditional drought-stricken parts of the planet, where the animal carcass assumes near totemic power... More>>



UN: Bachelet Alarmed By Number Of Palestinian Children Killed In Latest Escalation

UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet today expressed alarm at the high number of Palestinians, including children, killed and injured in the occupied Palestinian territory this year, including in intense hostilities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza last weekend... More>>

Save The Children: One Year Under Taliban Rule, Girls Are More Isolated, Hungry, Sad: New Report
One year since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, an economic crisis, crippling drought and new restrictions have shattered girls’ lives, excluding them from society and leaving them hungry...
More>>

Somalia: ‘We Cannot Wait For Famine To Be Declared; We Must Act Now’
Rising acute food insecurity in Somalia has caused more than 900,000 people to flee their homes in search of humanitarian assistance since January last year, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned... More>>

UN: American West Faces Water And Power Shortages Due To Climate Crisis
Two of the largest reservoirs in the United States are at dangerously low levels due to the climate crisis and overconsumption of water, which could affect water and electricity supply for millions in six western states and Mexico, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned on Tuesday... More>>



Singapore: UN Experts Call For Immediate Moratorium On Executions For Drug Offences

UN experts* today condemned the execution of Nazeri Bin Lajim, a 64-year-old Malay Singaporean national convicted of drug offenses and urged the Government of Singapore to halt plans to execute individuals on death row for drug related charges... More>>