Massive operation to ship tons of aid to Iraq underway: UNHCR

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A young girl sleeps surrounded by relatives in their new home, a primary school in Alqosh, Duhok, after fleeing their home in Mosul. Photo: UNHCR/S. Baldwin

A massive operation to ship over 2,400 tons of aid by air, land and sea over 10 days for Iraqi civilians displaced by the conflict is underway, according to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR.

A second cargo transport aircraft carrying tents into Erbil in Iraq's Kurdistan region has left while more flights are expected to leave on Friday and Saturday.

Furthermore, 16 containers of aid including kitchen sets, blankets, mattresses and other hygiene kits are being shipped to Iran and then loaded onto trucks for Erbil.

Mohamed Abu Asaker is the UNHCR spokesperson in Dubai.

"There is also 174 trucks leaving Turkey on the ground into Erbil Kurdistan to provide the humanitarian assistance. We are expecting that this whole humanitarian assistance valued at 2,400 tons will be delivered soon to the internally displaced people estimated at 1 million 200 hundred thousand living in hardship conditions and they are in immense need of rapid assistance right now."

The main challenge for now, says the UNHCR spokesperson, is to provide tents to the IDPs from the militant-held Mosul and Sinjar towns in northern Iraq.

Many of the displaced arrive to the protected areas thirsty and hungry from walking many hours in the middle of the mountains with nothing but the clothes on their backs, Asaker adds.

Humanitarian agencies in the region are focused on providing life-saving assistance to the displaced for now, he says.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’53”


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