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IRAQ | what comes after war? A project to provide assistance and rehabilitation to victims of the conflict.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Almost two years after the end of the battle that liberated Mosul, and despite the conclusion of military operations in the area, the Iraqi city remains at the epicentre of a profound humanitarian crisis.

Over two million internally displaced people (IDPs) require assistance, and the zones most heavily affected by the conflict – like Mosul and the areas surrounding the Ninewa Governorate – are still home to populations in need of healthcare assistance and medical support.

Northern Iraq is riddled with anti-personnel mines. According to the United Nations, around 1.7 million unexploded devices remain in the area, the legacy of both the eight-year Iran-Iraq War and the latest conflict with ISIS, which took place from 2014 to 2017.

Many people were wounded as a result of military operations in Mosul, and are now at risk of becoming the most vulnerable group in Iraqi society.

Anti-personnel mines are used – as they were in the conflict in Mosul – to compromise a country’s ability to recover: having just experienced a war, the state is then tasked with caring for those who, having been left disabled by landmines, are dependent on others and in need of economic and medical support. In many cases, patients are unable to provide for themselves and for their families, and risk being ostracised in their own communities.

To tackle this situation and the lack of access to healthcare, EMERGENCY has been implementing the  ‘Access to post-conflict rehabilitation healthcare to Iraqi IDP amputees in Ninewa Governorate’ project, which has been active since April 2019 and is funded by European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), with the aim of guaranteeing the continuity of free, high-quality healthcare to victims of the recent conflict.
The project has two main goals: to offer rehabilitative treatment to patients coming from Mosul, and to guarantee the continuity of rehabilitation services to amputees in the areas of the Ninewa Governorate most affected by the conflict.

The project is managed in close collaboration with the Mosul Rehabilitation Centre, the Ninewa Department of Public Health , and with the local NGO EHAO, responsible for the transfer of patients to our Rehabilitation and Social Reintegration Centre in Sulaymaniyah, where patients are provided with free-of-charge, high-quality prostheses, as well as physiotherapy courses.

In the first two months of the project, EMERGENCY has received 43 patients from Mosul, victims of anti-personnel mines and explosive devices, and 226 physiotherapy sessions have been carried out.

This project came about as a response to gaps in the healthcare system that arose following the serious humanitarian crisis caused by the conflict in Mosul, and seeks to achieve both short-term results (immediate treatment) and long-term results (training of local medical staff), in order to guarantee the sustainability of our activities, with a view to eventually handing over responsibilities to local authorities.

EMERGENCY is an independent, non-governmental organization founded in Italy in 1994 to provide free, high-quality medical and surgical treatment to victims of war, landmines and poverty. It promotes a culture of peace, solidarity and respect for human rights. Since 1994, it has worked in 18 countries, treating over 10 million patients.

Information on the Directorate-General for European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO)

The European Union and its member states are the world’s leading donors to humanitarian aid. Humanitarian assistance and the provision of primary healthcare is an expression of the Union’s solidarity with all those around the world in difficult situations. The objective of this assistance is to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering and safeguard the integrity and dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and man-made crises. Every year, through the Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO), the European Commission helps millions of victims of conflicts and disasters. Based in Brussels and with a global network of field offices, the department provides assistance to the most vulnerable people on the basis of their humanitarian needs. For more information, visit the European Commission website.