BURBANK, California (August 23, 2004) – Violence in the Iraqi city of Najaf escalated late last week, as 77 people were killed and another 70 wounded in a 24-hour period.
The International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (ICRC) has expressed concern over the situation facing ordinary Iraqi citizens caught in the fighting as “such conflicts always result in civilian victims.” Due to the violence, hundreds of families have have fled from the center of Najaf. In addition, the main hospital in the city is suffering from deficiencies in medicines, medical equipment, as well as a shortage of hospital staff.
Islamic Relief Worldwide Response
Islamic Relief Worldwide’s staff in the area is providing medicine and medical equipment to the Al Furat Al Awsat hospital, which is the main hospital that houses the victims of the current conflict in Najaf. Most of these supplies are from a large recent shipment of in-kind donations from donors to Islamic Relief USA. In addition, Islamic Relief Worldwide is providing displaced people with water treatment powder, cooking sets, beds, blankets, cushions, detergents and other emergency relief items.
The total number of internally-displaced persons (IDPs) may reach more than 1,000 families, and the number is expected to increase rapidly within the few coming days. Islamic Relief USA is in regular communication with Islamic Relief Iraq to ensure a safe and secure delivery of aid to the affected population. Recent communications were held with the Director General of Najaf’s Health Office, Dr. Falah Al Muhnna, to coordinate the process of delivery of aid. Despite difficult circumstances, the distribution of aid was successful.
Islamic Relief Worldwide has a permanent office in Iraq, and operates several long-term development and emergency relief projects in the country.