Humanitarian crisis deteriorates in Falluja
FALLUJAH - Agence France-Presse
AFP photoAid workers scrambled on June 19 to cope with a massive influx of Iraqi civilians who fled Fallujah after government forces retook much of the city from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
Tens of thousands of civilians escaped the city, just 50 kilometers west of Baghdad, on the back of a major advance that saw Iraqi forces thrust into central Fallujah in recent days. The humanitarian community has been struggling to cope, with thousands of people already suffering from hunger and trauma now stranded in the scorching summer heat with no shelter.
“The estimated total number of displaced from Fallujah in just the last three days is now at a staggering 30,000 people,” the Norwegian Refugee Council said.
The U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) said up to 84,000 people had been forced to flee their homes since the start of the government offensive against the ISIL bastion a month ago.
“Agencies are scrambling to respond to the rapidly evolving situation ,” the UNHCR said.