50,000 DISPLACED IRAQI FAMILIES ARE MISSING OUT ON AID :MSF
Medecins Sans Frontiers/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) expressed concern Friday that up to 50,000 Iraqi families displaced in the Kirkuk area as a result of the Islamic State's offensives in the region are missing out on aid.
SO FAR THE MAJORITY OF THE FUNDS AND ATTENTION OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY (HAVE) FOCUSED ON IRAQI KURDISTAN.
MSF told Reuters that the provision of aid is sporadic at best and falling short of what is needed to cover the refugees' basic needs. It said only a few local organisations are providing for the needs of the families, distributing items including food, blankets and hygiene kits.
Moreover, it accused international aid agencies of neglecting the Kirkuk refugees even though they are within their reach.
MSF head of mission Fabio Forgione said: "So far the majority of the funds and attention of the international community (have) focused on Iraqi Kurdistan."
He noted a great number of families, especially in the Kirkuk region, are staying in unsafe places such as unfinished buildings, schools and disused farms. The majority of them, Forgione said, are suffering from illnesses partly attributed to lack of clean water, sanitation and food.
MSF has been working in Kirkuk for years now and have increased their relief activities in the area during the last few months.
It says numbers of refugees have doubled since July this year and while Iraqi local authorities have been able to relocate some of the displaced families to a new camp Forgione said it is not yet finished and is still without water and sanitation
"We might end up in extremely deteriorating situation which for us is a real concern," he said.
This year alone, reports show that more than two million Iraqis have been displaced since the Islamic State offensive began months ago. Half of these Iraqis have sought refuge in Kurdistan.