The Red Cross Red Crescent network is providing humanitarian relief to men, women and children fleeing violence in Iraq. An estimated 1.2 million people are displaced inside the country, including more than 650,000 who have fled to the Kurdistan region in recent months.
The Iraqi Red Crescent has mobilized 4,000 volunteers and staff who are distributing food, water, and relief items. As the number of displaced families continues to increase—with some moving multiple times—the Red Crescent is even delivering relief supplies to people in-transit.
The American Red Cross has contributed $50,000 to strengthen the Iraqi Red Crescent’s ability to provide lifesaving assistance to displaced persons. In towns such as Sinjar, families are in need of the most basic items for their survival, and the Iraqi Red Crescent is distributing items such as water, ice, milk for babies, and hot meals every day.
Azad Khodor, 20, has been a Red Crescent volunteer for six years. “I have never before seen so many people in need and we are doing our best to help everyone,” he said.
The American Red Cross also has deployed two disaster specialists to Dohuk in the past six weeks. They are helping the Iraqi Red Crescent in assessment, coordination, information management and reporting—essential support for an emergency of this scale, which can overwhelm local Red Crescent branches.
As the security situation continues to deteriorate, free and unimpeded humanitarian access to all people in need across Iraq is a serious concern.