Over 3 million Iraqis have become refugees since January 2014

More than 3.09 million of Iraqi citizens have left their homes since January 2014, when ISIS militants seized a part of Ramadi and took the town of Fallujah (c. 70 kilometers, or 43 miles, west of Baghdad) under their control, reports the International Organization for Migration, or IOM, adding that two thirds of the refugees are natives of the Anbar, Nineveh and Saladin governorates, reports Sedmitza.ru.

These regions, according to the air force, have suffered more than others as a result of military action between IS and pro-government forces.

Over 276,000 people were displaced over past two months during the fighting for Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province. The city was taken by jihadis in the middle of May after the Iraqi army had retreated. Since then the pro-government forces, headed by Shiite militia members, have undertaken a large-scale operation in order to return Ramadi to Anbar and to force out the takfirists from the province.

Over the span of six months of 2014 half a million of Iraqis, many of whom were members of ethnic or religious minorities, left their homes, fleeing from violence following the seizure of Mosul.

Earlier this month Lise Grande, UN humanitarian aid coordinator for Iraq, said that more than 8 million people are in need of aid. By the end of this year their number may reach 10 million.

According to L. Grande, 497 million dollars must be raised to cover the costs for accommodation, food, water and other kinds of aid for refugees.

“The current crisis in Iraq is one of the most difficult and rapidly growing ones,” she informed, warning that unless the funds are not received immediately, over 50 percent of UN’s aid operations should be closed or reduced, and funds in support of Iraqi refugees should be reallocated.

Source: OCP