Last week, dozens of Handicap International’s professionals began working in Khazer camp, where about 30,000 people have taken refuge. Following the launch of the Mosul offensive in Iraq over a month ago, the camp is now one of the main areas of displacement. The organisation’s teams go from tent to tent inquiring after the health of displaced people, particularly the most vulnerable.
“A lot of people have injuries or chronic diseases and their health condition has gott worse over the last few weeks,” explains Mohamad, a physiotherapist.
“Many also suffer from psychological trauma, particularly children, so our psychosocial support is vital,” adds Eyad, a social worker.
By the end of this week, the organisation’s teams will also be working in other camps in order to help as many people as possible. This includes Hasansham, where some 10,000 people are currently living, and Qayyarah Jad’ah, another major displacement area.
“Some camps are empty, but our teams will start working there as soon as they open. We won’t have to wait long because the number of displaced people increases daily and the humanitarian emergency is growing and becoming more complicated with the onset of winter,” explains Maud Bellon, project manager of Handicap International’s Mosul Emergency Response.
“We are also going to diversify our activities, and our risk education teams, who raise awareness on mines and explosive remnants of war, will begin their intervention shortly.”
“Since the start of the year, more than 5,000 people in Iraq have been killed and over 10,000 injured by explosive weapons. Displaced people are often exposed to these risks, so it’s vital they know how to recognise them and what to do if they come across them,” she adds.
“We’re also collaborating with other humanitarian actors in order to cover all of the needs of the displaced population.”
More than 10 million people currently need humanitarian assistance in Iraq, around a third of the country’s population. This number has doubled in less than a year.