Clean Water and Medical Attention for Civilians Fleeing Fallujah

Relief International has been among the first organizations to mobilize frontline emergency aid in response to the urgent and growing humanitarian crisis spurred by escalated conflict around Fallujah.

With the generous support of donors, RI has deployed emergency mobile medical teams in Amriyat al Fallujah, Habbaniyah Tourist City and Khalidiya, where most of those fleeing Fallujah have arrived. The medical teams work seven days a week and sometimes through the night to treat as many as 300 ill and injured civilians each day. RI water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) teams provide bottled water, trash bags and hygiene briefings for families who often arrive exhausted, dehydrated and sunburned after dangerous journeys through mine-filled areas. RI has been at the forefront of the Fallujah crisis since conflict began and in mid-June, RI was the only organization working in the newly established camps near Bzeibez Bridge. Families there desperately need medical supplies and water.

More than 15,000 civilians have fled Fallujah since the end of May. They have crossed the wide Euphrates River using refrigerators, cupboards and barrels as makeshift boats, and are reportedly being used as human shields in their escape from Fallujah. Reports arrive daily of injury and death from mine explosions as families make their way to the relative safety of Amriyat al Fallujah, Habbaniya Tourist City and other nearby camps.

These camps are overflowing, with new arrivals forced to sleep in the streets or with relatives. Authorities expect the situation to further deteriorate as families continue to stream out of Fallujah by the thousands.

As the numbers continue to rise, RI is working to deploy additional mobile medical units and to speed the delivery of medical supplies to where they are needed. RI WASH teams have increased bottled water distribution for each family and are planning to provide safe drinking water by trucking in 15,000 liters/4,000 gallons per day. The teams also plan to install 2,000 liter/525 gallon tanks for drinking water in Amriyat al Fallujah and Habbaniyah Tourist City.

RI field teams continue to monitor the growing civilian crisis, and are preparing new and rapid responses.