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Humanitarian Disaster strikes Fallujah: About 60,000 people flee to escape IS-held city in Iraq

Iraqi fighters face snipers and bombs as they fight to eliminate IS militants from the city they have held for more than two years

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Iraqi soldiers help civilians, who fled from Falluja because of Islamic State violence, during a dust storm on the outskirts of Fallujah, Iraq, June 18, 2016. Image source: Reuters
  • The number of people who have managed to leave the city has topped 60,000
  • People from Fallujah have managed to find refuge in warehouses or mosques as refugee camps become full
  • PM Haider al Abadi declared the Iraqi forces had been victorious in their fight to take control of the city

Exhausted, hungry and desperate, 30,000 people have poured out of Fallujah in the past three days as Iraqi forces stormed into the center of the city, pushing Islamic State fighters into the northwest of the city.

Despite the searing Iraqi summer heat, many of those who have escaped are sleeping out in the open as refugee camps are now full. Others have managed to find refuge in warehouses or mosques.

Norwegian Refugee Council staff provide drinking water for Iraqis from Fallujah at Amariyat al-Fallujah displacement camp. Photo: Karl Schembri/NRC. Image source: Reuters
Norwegian Refugee Council staff provide drinking water for Iraqis from Fallujah at Amariyat al-Fallujah displacement camp. Photo: Karl Schembri/NRC. Image source: Reuters

The number of people who have managed to leave the city has topped 60,000.

Appeal to government

The Norwegian Refugee Council, which is providing emergency food rations and bottled water to thousands of people, said the sheer numbers and a lack of camp coordination has made it difficult to reach all the newly arrived families.

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“We implore the Iraqi government to take charge of this humanitarian disaster unfolding on our watch,” said NRC Country Director Nasr Muflahi in a statement.

Iraqi army soldiers hold Iraqi flag on a top of a military vehicle in the centre of Fallujah, Iraq, June 18, 2016. Image source: Reuters
Iraqi army soldiers hold Iraqi flag on a top of a military vehicle in the centre of Fallujah, Iraq, June 18, 2016. Image source: Reuters

“We cannot continue to provide aid when we do not even know who is where and what they need,” Muflahi said.

Prime Minister Haider al Abadi declared the Iraqi forces had been victorious in their fight to take control of the city.

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But in Fallujah, Iraqi fighters face snipers and bombs as they fight to eliminate IS militants from the city they have held for more than two years.

Some militants reportedly have sent their wives and children out of the city with the refugees. (VOA)

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    If the UN cannot do anything about this, there should be people from other countries who should take this initiative and ask their governments to help our fellow Syrian brothers and sisters.

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People Tend to Eat More with Friends and Family

We found strong evidence that people eat more food when dining with friends and family than when alone

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People, Friends, Family
Eating "socially" has a powerful effect on increasing food intake relative to dining alone, said the study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Pixabay

If you are planning to cut down on your daily food intake to get into shape, better dine alone as a new research has found that people tend to eat more with friends and family.

Eating “socially” has a powerful effect on increasing food intake relative to dining alone, said the study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

“We found strong evidence that people eat more food when dining with friends and family than when alone,” said research leader Helen Ruddock from the University of Birmingham in Britain.

Previous studies found that those eating with others ate up to 48 per cent more food than solo diners and women with obesity eating socially consumed up to 29 per cent more than when eating alone.

People, Friends, Family
If you are planning to cut down on your daily food intake to get into shape, better dine alone as a new research has found that people tend to eat more with friends and family. Pixabay

For the study, the researchers evaluated 42 existing studies of research into social dining.

The researchers found that people eat more with friends and family because having food with others is more enjoyable and social eating could increase consumption.

Social norms might ‘permit’ overeating in company but sanction it when eating alone and providing food becomes associated with praise and recognition from friends and family, strengthening social bonds.

The researchers called the phenomenon of eating more with friends and family “social facilitation”.

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They found that this social facilitation effect on eating was not observed across studies which had looked at food intake amongst people who were not well acquainted.

“People want to convey positive impressions to strangers. Selecting small portions may provide a means of doing so and this may be why the social facilitation of eating is less pronounced amongst groups of strangers,” Ruddock said.

The researchers explained that ancient hunter gatherers shared food because it ensured equitable food distribution.

In the case of social facilitation, we have inherited a mechanism that now exerts a powerful influence on unhealthy dietary intakes, the researchers said. (IANS)