As the conflict escalates, Iraq has seen the highest numbers and fastest rate of people displaced in the world in 2015.
According to the International Organisation for Migration, 3.2 million people have fled their homes due to intense fighting between Iraqi government forces and the Islamic State group. While around 70,000 have returned home, new displacements continue.
Many of those displaced in the provinces of Anbar, Nineveh, Salahuddin, Diyala and Kirkuk live in camps where living conditions are appalling.
“We don’t have clothes for the winter. The weather is extremely cold at night,” says Um Umar, a widow with 12 children living in a camp in Anbar.
Um Umar has been displaced twice. After fleeing to Lake Habbaniya in Anbar – an area between the frontlines of Fallujah and Ramadi, she was forced to move again to another camp in Anbar – also near another frontline.
With no income, families struggle to make ends meet and find it hard to provide proper medical treatment for their children.
“My child has cancer. I hoped one day he would walk again but I don’t have any income,” says Abu Youssef, who lives in a camp with his wife and two other children after fleeing fighting in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, a few months ago.
Heavy flooding has made conditions even worse in the camps when floodwaters swept away tents and the families few meagre possessions.
The ICRC is one of the few humanitarian organizations which has access to these remote camps in desert terrain. It prioritizes assistance to those who have never received aid and people who have recently been displaced.
In November and December, ICRC distributed heaters, jackets and other winter items to over 90,000 Iraqis who had fled their homes as well as to Syrian refugees living in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Since the start of 2015, the ICRC has provided food, essential relief items, clean water and health care services to more than 2 million people in Iraq.
Location: Anbar, Iraq
Format: H264 HD mov
Production: Ralph El Hage and Saif Salim
ICRC ref: AV415 Iraq Displaced
Date: Various December 2015
Copyright: ICRC access all
Location: Amiriyat Al Falluja camp, Anbar Province.
Date: December 2015
0:00 – Wide shot of tents in camp
0:16 – Various shots of Abu Youssef taking care of his sick child
SOUNDBITE Abu Yousef (in Arabic)
01:00 - “My child has a tumour. I hoped that he would one day walk again, but I do not have income. I have to sell humanitarian aid in order to cover costs of treatment.”
1:22 - “When my two other children get sick, I can rely on the clinic here in the camp, but my sick child has lost his immunity and we live in harsh conditions in this camp.”
1:39 - Kids in front of tent as a little girl sweeps the ground with a broom
1:48 - Close up ground shot of children running playing football
2:03 - Inside shot of a tent as Um Omar enters and fills a bucket with water
SOUNDBITE Um Omar (in Arabic)
2:31 - “I’m displaced from Habbaniya. My husband was just recently killed. I have 12 children to take care of together with his second widow. We have nothing here and we have no source of income. It is very hard to make ends meet.”
2:48 - “We don’t have clothes for the winter and the weather is extremely cold at night. We need any help possible from anyone.
3:02 Workers unloading ICRC humanitarian relief packages from a truck
3:59 Displaced people collecting winter humanitarian relief items
SOUNDBITE ICRC Delegate – Attila Boros (in Arabic)
4:05 - “We are today in Buzeibiz area distributing winter relief items to displaced people living in the area.” “We are distributing blankets, heaters, jackets, as well as food and other relief items.”