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Iraq: displaced fleeing Fallujah fighting arriving in Baghdad

Briefing notes

Iraq: displaced fleeing Fallujah fighting arriving in Baghdad

13 April 2004

UNHCR is naturally very concerned about the situation in Iraq, which has resulted in considerable displacement. Over the weekend displaced people fleeing the fighting in Fallujah continued to arrive in Baghdad.

Over the past three days, UNHCR has made available some 3,500 blankets, 1,200 mattresses, 5 emergency health kits (benefitting over 50,000 people), 500 stoves and 500 plastic sheets to cater for displaced people from Fallujah in Baghdad. The goods are being delivered by NGOs (such as Intersos, Première Urgence and Islamic Relief among others) to the most needy displaced people and institutions, especially hospitals. Two of the released health kits will be used by Première Urgence today as they will be conducting a mission to Najaf where, reportedly, the health situation is not so good.

In Baghdad, mosques are being prepared to welcome Fallujah's IDPs. People in villages located between Fallujah and Baghdad reportedly have also been opening their doors to the displaced.

Returnee convoy movements from Iran have been suspended since last Tuesday, and all local staff are under instruction to stay at home. Following last Tuesday's convoy from Shiraz carrying 209 returnees, a limited number of returnees had to be accommodated in the UNHCR/Intersos transit centre in Basra, unable to return to their final destinations. It is not clear when these people will be able to reach their homes.

Most of the immediate assistance, such as repatriation support, responses to the flooding in the south and provision of support to the affected families in the flooded areas has unfortunately been temporarily put on hold.