An estimated half a million people from Iraq’s second largest city Mosul have fled since militants from the Islamic State and the Levant took control earlier this week.
There have been chaotic scenes at border crossings entering nearby Irbil Province in the autonomous region of Kurdistan.
“The situation is hopeless in Mosul,” said Waad Ali. “They burned down a police station so I’m doing my best to save my family and protect my children.”
Only those with families or invitations from Kurds are being allowed in.
For those who aren’t permitted entry to the region the United Nations Refugee Agency in cooperation with the Kurdish government have provided a temporary alternative for the fleeing Iraqis.
‘56 SOT Catherine Robinson, UNHCR
“Those who don’t have people waiting on the other side for them and don’t have any money – the government has set up this transit camp for them so that they have a place to stay,” explained Catherine Robinson, Public Information Officer with the UNHCR-
The International Organisation for Migration have said the Iraqi government and NGOs have been providing basic non-food relief items but are now appealing for further aid to help with the crisis situation in the country.
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