Iraq: Medical supplies for Iraqis in conflict-hit areas

Geneva/Baghdad (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross has completed the delivery of much-needed medical supplies to hospitals in Falluja, Hamadaniyah and Sinjar. These areas have been the scene of fighting between government forces and armed groups. The people in these areas lack food, water, and health care. As a neutral, impartial humanitarian actor, the ICRC delivered these supplies in coordination with the Iraqi Ministry of Health and World Health Organisation (WHO).

Hamadaniyah Hospital is affected by the consequences of the fighting in nearby Mosul. “The hospital was short of medical supplies, and very few medical staff are on duty because of the fighting,” said ICRC health coordinator Dr Hashemi Said Padshah. This delivery will enable the hospital to treat 100 seriously wounded people and 10,000 other patients for three months.

“We are glad to have been able to reach Falluja, a city badly affected by the conflict, for the second time this month,” explained Patricia Guiote, head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Baghdad. “We were able to deliver seven tonnes of medical supplies, which will enable the hospital to treat 600 seriously injured people and nearly 45,000 other patients for three months.”

The ICRC also facilitated the delivery of medicines to Sinjar Hospital near Mosul. There have been reports that tens of thousands of displaced people have sought shelter in this area, placing huge demands on its health services.

The delivery of supplies to these hospitals took place with the agreement of all parties involved. The ICRC hopes to return with further support for the health and water services and to bring in food and essential relief items for civilians.

The ICRC reminds all parties to the conflict of their obligation under international humanitarian law to spare civilians and civilian objects, and to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to the people who need it. Everyone who is wounded or sick must be granted prompt and safe access to health care. Medical facilities must be protected from attacks, and every effort must be made to ensure that medical personnel can carry out their activities unhindered.

At least 800,000 people have had to flee their homes since intense fighting started in December. So far, the ICRC has distributed food and other essentials to more than 153,000 displaced persons across Iraq.

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