Iraq continues to be ravaged by conflict, as a massive military operation centres around the city of Mosul. Tens of thousands of people continue to be displaced each week, and in just six months, nearly 400,000 people have fled the Mosul area. Some have been able to return home but the vast majority continues living in camps, and in informal settlements. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) estimates that 1.1 million people may be forced from their homes in 2017.
Every facet of society in Iraq has been impacted by years of continuous conflict, economic downturn, and destruction of communities. Decline in agriculture production has led to food insecurity and the number of people seeking health consultations has dramatically increased while many hospitals and health facilities have been damaged or destroyed. Displaced children often go without schooling, and people who have fled their homes face the difficulty of re-establishing livelihoods.
This is a time of extreme vulnerability for the people of Iraq. Even if they are able to escape the violence, their needs remain critical.
Medair is responding in Iraq with mobile health services and support of primary care clinics. We provide access to water and sanitation, emergency cash programming, and we distribute hygiene, household, and emergency shelter kits. Our teams are working in areas where people are newly displaced, and in locations where safe access is only possible through strong community relationships.
WHAT WE DO
– Mobile Medical Teams treat newly displaced people who may have gone without access to medical care for extended periods. Mobile units are equipped for the treatment of chronic conditions, and to operate in isolated locations with few basic services or buildings.
– Emergency kits for families in transit include basic hygiene, food preparation, and shelter items. Travel to flee violence can often take families several days on foot, accompanied by the very young, the elderly, and family members who are disabled.
– Full shelter and household kits include items for building a more robust structure, and supplies for up to 30 days.
– Medair responds rapidly to repair overwhelmed water and sanitation systems, always following best-practice humanitarian standards when working with newly displaced communities.
Health Care – Medair runs the primary health clinic in a camp housing people fleeing Hawija, an area still controlled by armed groups. A community health team visits families in their tents to encourage better health and nutrition practices.
When communities can return home, they often come back to near or total destruction. Medair supports health clinics with medicine and staff until they are able to operate independently again.
Mobile Medical Teams – When violence creates a mass movement of people, existing health systems in host communities are often overwhelmed. As a result, many people struggle to access health care. Medair’s Mobile Medical Teams are deployed to help people who would otherwise go without health services.
Cash Assistance – Medair provides displaced families with the means to afford shelter and other basic items they need to survive while they wait to return home.