1. Families have been forced to flee
In June, violence erupted in the Iraqi city of Mosul causing half a million people to flee their homes in a matter of days, up to half of them children.
Thousands of families gathered at checkpoints, many of them without adequate water, sanitation, or shelter from the scorching heat. UNICEF responded immediately with life-saving supplies for children, including clean drinking water.
Yesterday, a total of 290,000 liters of water were supplied to Khazar Transit Camp, Hamdaniya, Bartella, & Karamlish! pic.twitter.com/SSKHkF4sPR
— UNICEF Iraq (@UNICEFiraq) July 5, 2014
In less than a fortnight, a charter plane of 33 tonnes of tents, blankets and hygiene kits arrived in Erbil to assist 35,000 displaced families.
Over the last two months, UNICEF has provided life-saving supplies to children including safe drinking water, toilets, and emergency immunisation to protect them from killer diseases.
2. The re-emergence of polio
In the middle of the crisis, UNICEF and WHO have also launched a massive polio vaccination in Iraq to respond to the reappearance of the devastating disease earlier this year. The campaign aims to reach over four million children under 5.
As the humanitarian crisis continues to unfold in Iraq, UNICEF is working 24 hours a day to address the urgent needs of the most vulnerable children – including the influx of refugee children from Syria.
3. Children are stranded on Mount Sinjar
Sinjar, a district of Ninewa in northwest Iraq with a population of at least 150,000 children – including many who were already internally displaced – was taken over by the Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS) ten days ago.
More than 25,000 children fled to Mount Sinjar where they have no food, water or shelter. If they do not get water and food now they will not survive. UNICEF has reports that during the first 3 days trapped on the mountains, 56 children died from dehydration and exhaustion.
4. How you can help
UNICEF is getting emergency supplies to every child in reach. 15,000 hygiene kits and 600,000 water bottles have been distributed in Sinjar in recent days, as well as enough high-energy biscuits to feed 35,000 undernourished children in Northern Iraq.