Yes, More Babies…and a Way to Help Fallujah Maternity and Children’s Hospital

I’ve been out of the US for the past month and a half.  I returned  to stories of the US government ripping children from their families.  My heart is heavy.  It’s always heavy when I think about injustice.  And, as it often does, thoughts of injustice lead me back to the babies, and how the US has still never taken any responsibility for using weapons in Fallujah that led to this: These babies were born, or were stillborn, in Fallujah during the time I was away.  All of this, in one place, in less than 2 months. Can you imagine?

 

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As usual I feel helpless. But, thanks to some caring people there is a way to help the families of Fallujah. My dear friend Ross Caputi and the People’s History of Fallujah are partnering with Iraq Hope, a Japanese NGO, and Irak Solidaritet, a Swedish solidarity organization, to purchase a new echo-cardiogram machine for the Maternity and Children’s HospitalHere is the link for more information:

https://peopleshistoryfallujah.org/2018/06/16/help-us-purchase-an-echo-cardiogram-machine-for-fallujahs-maternity-and-childrens-hospital/

“Since 2005 Fallujah has witnessed some of the highest rates of cancer DSC_6074and birth defects in the world. Many attribute this public health crisis to American weapons used during the assaults on the city in 2004. Then during the period of violence beginning in 2013, Fallujah’s hospitals were bombed repeatedly by American and Iraqi forces, and then looted by ISIS.

Fallujah’s Maternity and Children’s Hospital continues to struggle with the city’s public health crisis, and without essential equipment.

Our fundraising goal is $10,000.

Please join us in this act of reparations.”

I hope that everyone reading my blog will consider donating. In honor of – and justice for – the babies…

https://peopleshistoryfallujah.org/2018/06/16/help-us-purchase-an-echo-cardiogram-machine-for-fallujahs-maternity-and-childrens-hospital/

 

 

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Fallujah’s displaced endure ‘inhuman’ conditions

fallujah

Thousands of families who continue to flee Fallujah face a ‘catastrophic’ situation, aid workers say.

That was the headline from an article in Al Jazeera.  And there’s this from UPI:

BAGHDAD, June 22 (UPI) — Families in Iraq who fled fighting in Fallujah are now living in dangerous conditions, with some sleeping in the open desert as food, water and supplies run low.

More than 85,000 people have escaped Fallujah in recent weeks as Iraqi security forces battled to seize control of Iraq’s second-largest city away from the Islamic State. The surge in internally displaced people seeking aid in camps near Fallujah have further strained the supplies of humanitarian agencies.

“Women are sleeping on the bare ground here … My family has been here for five days and we have no water, only one blanket shared by seven people,” Saleh, an Iraqi man from Fallujah, told the Norwegian Refugee Council. “Only today they filled the water tank … why is this happening to us? Let the United Nations help us and come and see how much we are suffering, let them see what we’re going through.”

The surge in fleeing families is attributed to IS militants retreating from checkpoints in the city. The militants killed or captured civilians who attempted to flee Fallujah.

Humanitarian agencies warn temperatures nearing 120 degrees Fahrenheit have threatened the lives of children, pregnant woman, the elderly and disabled people.

Iraqi officials said at least 2,500 Islamic State militants have been killed in the past month since Iraqi security forces began the offensive. At least 4.4 million people in Iraq are internally displaced.

“What we’re seeing is the consequence of a delayed and heavily underfunded response with an extreme toll on the civilians fleeing from one nightmare and living through another one,” Norwegian Refugee Council Director Nasr Muflahi said in a statement. “The situation is deteriorating by the day and people are going to die in those camps unless essential aid arrives now. Fallujah may have been retaken but its citizens are facing a catastrophe.

Catastrophe…
Humanitarian Disaster…
Nightmare…
Inhuman…

How can we stand by and let this happen?  Please click the link below to help!!:

http://donate.nrc.no/help-children-escaping-war-in-fallujah-now/3-2533

 

The Families of Fallujah Need Help NOW

families fallujah

A “new nightmare” read one headline of an article about the growing humanitarian crisis in Fallujah. Aid workers are increasingly frustrated, and rightly so:

Nasr Muflahi, the director of the NRC’s mission in Iraq, said: “What we’re seeing is the consequence of a delayed and heavily underfunded response with an extreme toll on the civilians fleeing from one nightmare and living through another one.

“The situation is deteriorating by the day and people are going to die in those camps unless essential aid arrives now. Fallujah may have been retaken but its citizens are facing a catastrophe.

“The governments engaged in this battle have the responsibility to provide the funding and the resources needed for the tens of thousands of innocent women, children and men displaced and left out on their own.”

Please donate to the Norwegian Refugee Council through my fundraiser. Click here:

http://donate.nrc.no/help-children-escaping-war-in-fallujah-now/3-2533

Please…

 

Families Fleeing Fallujah Face More Hardship

There have been many reports about the civilians trying to flee the fighting in Fallujah. I have read of families drowning as they try to leave the city on makeshift rafts, I have read that now there may be 90,000 civilians trapped inside the city as opposed to the 50,000 originally thought to be there.And I have read that civilians who have managed to escape have been subjected to abuse from the very people who are supposedly there to save them. (This piece from Human Rights Watch outlines the abuses that have been reported).

families fleeing on river in Fallujah

When I started this blog I was outraged by the lack of knowledge about the increase in birth defects and cancers that had occurred after the US invasion. I wanted to bring awareness, and through that awareness some funding to help the families that were coping with the burdens that go along with raising a child with special needs. I also wanted the US to take some responsibility.

Now, these very families are fleeing for their lives, many still trapped inside the city with no food, dirty water, no way out. Others have died trying to escape, or have been beaten. ENOUGH, enough of the suffering!!   I can only hope that their nightmare ends soon, and all I can do is to try to raise funds so that the aid workers at the Norwegian Refugee Council can at least provide food, clean water and shelter. Please click the link below and consider giving what you can:

http://donate.nrc.no/help-children-escaping-war-in-fallujah-now/3-2533

 

 

Please Help the Families of Fallujah

I created a fundraiser through the Norwegian Refugee Council to help the families of Fallujah who are trapped and starving. Please, dear readers of my blog, donate what you can. Thank you.

 

 

No safe routes for civilians trapped inside Fallujah

Fallujah has been in the news a lot over the past few days with stories such as this one  titled “Mixed Iraqi force prepares for push into militant stronghold of Fallujah” and this one  titled ‘A new formula in the battle for Fallujah”. And of course there are stories like this one that talks about “re-taking” Fallujah (at least the headline is a good one: “The latest battle in Fallujah is a symbol of the futility of US efforts in Iraq”).

But this is the one I want everyone to see:

No safe routes for civilians trapped inside Fallujah

As military operations to retake the besieged town of Fallujah continue, thousands of civilian families are trapped in the fighting with no safe route out, the Norwegian Refugee Council warned today. The lock-down for civilians trying to flee continued last night with no more families confirmed to have safely reached out of town. As of Tuesday morning, up to 50,000 civilians are believed to be trapped in Fallujah since military operations began yesterday.

NRC staff working in displacement camps outside the town say only 80 families have managed to flee to safety just hours before the fighting began.

“Nobody else seems to have been allowed out of town; there are thousands trapped in Fallujah with intense fighting raging on their doorsteps,” said NRC’s Country Director in Iraq, Nasr Muflahi.

“Families who have been suffering food and medical shortages over the last months now risk being caught in the crossfire, and it is absolutely vital that they are granted safe routes out of there so that we can assist them. All parties to this conflict have to provide safe exits for civilians.”

The few families who have managed to flee to safety in displacement camps speak of a dangerous journey out of the town ahead of the military operations. They have sought safety in camps in Amiryiat Al Fallujah, around 30kms away from Fallujah’s centre. NRC is present providing the newly displaced families with emergency water, food parcels and hygiene kits.

It is estimated that as many as 7,000 families will be internally displaced within Fallujah if the intense fighting continues. Iraq is facing a complex and multiple displacement crisis with more than 1.1 million people displaced inside Iraq last year alone. A staggering total of 3.4 million people are currently internally displaced across the country.

 

#Fallujah_Is_Starving

Fallujah is starving.  Has been starving. And no one listened to their cries for a long time…

But at least it seems that people are finally noticing: Here is another article, from Vox:

http://www.vox.com/2016/4/9/11393406/isis-fallujah-siege

I hope that those with the power to stop this human atrocity will do something, anything. Please spread the word and contact your representatives…these people have suffered enough.

fallujah starving