IOM calls for humanitarian corridors to access many displaced in Iraq

GENEVA: The International Organisation for Migration, IOM, warned Friday that aid workers could not reach tens of thousands of Iraqis displaced by the violence rocking the country, urging the establishment of humanitarian corridors to access those in need.

The migration body said it, along with the UN’s World Food Programme and children’s agency UNICEF, had been able to distribute relief to around 10,000 people in Iraq this month.

“But that is a drop in the bucket when you consider the tens of thousands of people who have been displaced by the ongoing fighting in Mosul, Tal Afar, Tikrit and on the road south to Baghdad,” IOM Baghdad Emergency Coordinator Mandie Alexander said in a statement.

“We cannot accurately assess their needs or deliver aid to the vast majority because of the lack of security and hundreds of road blocks. The road blocks, established by the government and armed opposition groups (AOGs) also stop people from reaching aid distribution points. We cannot reach them and they cannot reach us,” Ms. Alexander told a donor briefing at IOM headquarters in Geneva yesterday (26/6).

The migration body’s spokesperson says Iraq is no longer the country that we knew and the Iraq we knew will never exist again. It is now a totally different country. We have turned back the clock to the emergencies of 2003 and 2006 and what we now have is a very complex humanitarian emergency with huge obstacles to overcome.”