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Iraq: Humanitarian partners support government response to help tens of thousands of victims of severe flooding

26 Nov 2018
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Credit: SSDF

The United Nations and international and local humanitarian partners have joined the Government of Iraq’s specialized agencies in providing support for the tens of thousands of victims of the severe flooding which swept many areas of Salah Eddin and Ninewa Governorates.

The floods, caused by heavy rainfall, have resulted in multiple deaths and injuries and displaced tens of thousands of people. Ninewa and Salah Eddin are the most heavily affected governorates, with multiple reports of bridges, roads and villages being inundated; damage was also recorded in the southern part of the country. An estimated 10,000 people in Salah Eddin and 15,000 people in Ninewa are in need of assistance, including thousands of families living in IDP camps.

Ongoing response

Credit: SSDF

In Ninewa, blankets and hygiene kits, non-food items, and food baskets and immediate response rations have been distributed to more than 3,000 families. World Food Program reported that its partners had successfully delivered 4,000 Immediate Response Ration parcels to affected areas. Water and sanitation assistance (including drainage, water trucking, and debris removal) is on-going and mobile clinics are ready to be deployed.

In Salah Eddin, the Governor’s office began distributing food baskets to 1,000 displaced families in Shirqat, while the UN population fund is planning to distribute 400 hygiene kits in coordination with their local partners in the area. International humanitarian partners are planning health assistance through mobile medical clinics in coordination with the Directorate of Health. Two thousand food rations will be distributed together with blankets, mattresses and household items in coordination with an international NGO.

On Saturday, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq Ms. Marta Ruedas commended the Government of Iraq, which is leading the disaster response effort, for its immediate mobilization in response to the floods, and pledged continued UN support during this emergency situation. “We are assessing the situation to see where we could further assist the Government of Iraq in its response to this severe flooding,” she said.

Losses are still being assessed, but initial accounts from flooded areas include the destruction of homes, livestock, and household items. Initial reports from partners indicate that the Shirqat district in Salah Eddin, and Qayyarah and Jeddah IDP camps in Ninewa, are among the worst affected. Several needs assessments are already underway, led by the Rapid Response Mechanism and Logistics clusters. "The UN is here, as always", said the Humanitarian Coordinator, "to provide support to the government and authorities of the country in the discharge of their responsibilities to provide assistance to their citizens".