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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
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  • 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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India Aims Towards Highest Level Of Health

India has always supported regional and global public health issues.

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India aims to attain highest possible level of health: Minister
India aims to attain highest possible level of health: Minister VOA

Stressing that India has fast-tracked many initiatives aimed at achieving the tenets of universal health coverage, Union Minister J.P. Nadda on Monday said here that the country’s objective is to attain the highest possible level of health.

“India has fast-tracked many initiatives aimed at achieving all the core tenets of Universal Health Coverage i.e, strengthening health systems, improving access to free medicines and diagnostics and reducing catastrophic healthcare spending,” Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare said at the inauguration of the ’71st Session of the WHO Regional Committee for South East Asia Region (SEAR).’

He said that the country “believes in the objective of attainment of the highest possible level of health, where health is a state of complete physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.

“Moving towards this objective, we have adopted the National Health Policy 2017 with the aim to provide affordable healthcare for all,” he added.

 

Children play as a woman crosses a railway fence at a slum area in New Delhi, India, July 11, 2018.
Children play as a woman crosses a railway fence at a slum area in New Delhi, India, July 11, 2018. (VOA)

 

The session, attended by ministers of health from the SEAR countries, also had participation of Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog, Preeti Sudan, Secretary (Health) among other dignitaries.

He described Ayushman Bharat as a programme that rests on “the twin pillars of health and wellness for provision of comprehensive primary healthcare services”.

“Under the first pillar of Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, we are reaching out to approximately 40 per cent of country’s population roughly covering 500 million individuals, who will be provided an insurance cover of 500 thousand Indian rupees to cover secondary and tertiary healthcare.”

water, health crisis
The degree of water sterilization is minimal. VOA

Also Read: Here’s How Strict India’s Citizenship Test Can Really Be

The Minister said that India has always supported regional and global public health issues.

“India supports the regional and global health agenda and stands ready to work with fellow member states and the international community to achieve our common goal of health for all,” he said. (IANS)