News

UNFPA scales up response after earthquake hit Iraq

19 November 2017

Erbil, Iraq, 19 November 2017 – In the aftermath of the powerful earthquake that struck the Iraq-Iran border last Sunday evening, the office of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Iraq scaled up its emergency intervention.

The 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck the border region between Iraq and The Islamic Republic of Iran, 30 km southwest of Halabja in Iraq, on Sunday 12 November 2017. According to the interagency assessment mission to Sulaymaniyah, the earthquake left eight people dead, more than 500 injured and hundreds of families displaced. Furthermore, three health facilities were damaged in Darbandixan and Halabja alone.

To respond to the needs of the newly displaced women and girls, UNFPA deployed one gynecology mobile clinic in Shahid Azadi Mama Alaa primary health clinic (PHC), the only functioning health facility in Darbandixan in Sulaymaniyah, the area which suffered the most serious damage in Iraq. The PHC is being turned into a makeshift hospital, where tents are being set up in the clinic’s courtyard. The mobile clinic, which will be part of the makeshift hospital, is crucial at this time as the maternity wards were damaged and are no longer operational.

The UNFPA team also distributed medicines and reproductive health kits as well as dignity kits to more than 500 women and girls in the areas and provided much-needed psychosocial support to traumatized women in Darbandixan. In addition, UNFPA plans to conduct psychosocial sessions in Halabja during the upcoming week.

The United Nations Population Fund, with the support and collaboration of local partners, continues to monitor the situation and stands ready to provide necessary support to government and women in need.

For more information or media inquiries, please contact Ms. Salwa Moussa smoussa@unfpa.org