Since the US-led ousting of Saddam Hussein in 2003, Iraq has been beset with power struggles and conflict. The predominantly Shia-led governments that have been in power since this time have found it difficult to maintain order and the country has suffered ongoing sectarian violence.
Commenting on the plight of Iraqis, aid and development charity Human Appeal notes that the humanitarian situation in the country has continued to deteriorate over the last three years. The organisation points out that more than three million people there have fled their homes, over 10 million are in urgent need of medical assistance and more than eight million lack access to clean water and sanitation facilities. In addition, nearly three million people do not know where their next meal will come from.
Human Appeal compares the situation in Iraq to that in Syria in terms of the number of displaced people and those hungry and in fear for their lives.
Children are among those worst affected by the continuing conflict. The charity highlights the fact that over three million youngsters are either out of school or are not able to attend classes regularly, while UN figures suggest that one in five children in Iraq are at serious risk of injury, abduction or death. Many children have been physically wounded as a result of the violence and even more, have suffered psychological scarring as a result of bearing witness to the reality of life in a conflict zone.
In western Mosul alone, as many as 750,000 people are thought to be largely cut off from humanitarian aid agencies. This means they cannot access the life-saving supplies that they so desperately need. There have been a number of cases of starvation in western Mosul, and many residents there are forced to rely on dirty drinking water. Medical facilities in the area have run out of even the most basic of medicines and supplies, and roads are littered with explosives.
What Human Appeal is doing to help
Human Appeal UK is one of only a small number of NGOs that has an office located in East Mosul, from where it delivers aid to those in need in the city and beyond. The organization has already provided supplies including flour, water bottles, and hygiene facilities to in excess of 20,000 vulnerable people in Mosul, and it is delivering aid to families who have been forced to flee their homes and are living in camps. It also plans to set up clean water and sanitation facilities in a number of camps across the country and create temporary learning centres for displaced youngsters.
If you want to help Human Appeal continue its life-saving work, you can visit its website to make a donation.