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Eight years in Kirkuk: Hawija’s journey of recovery | Doctors Without Borders

Emergency response to an unfolding crisis

In 2015, Iraq witnessed a humanitarian crisis resulting from the Islamic State’s takeover of large parts of Ninawa, Al-Anbar, Salahaddin, Kirkuk, and Diyala governorates, and the war that followed to restore governmental control. More than 4 million Iraqis are estimated to have been displaced at that time and forced to seek refuge in other areas of Iraq. This came after a massive influx of refugees fleeing the civil war in neighboring Syria that erupted in 2011.

As a result, Iraq was deeply destabilized, and massive resources were allocated to the war effort. At the same time, infrastructure was deteriorating in more than one-third of the country, with a huge impact on the health care system and people’s access to health care services.

To respond to the emerging critical needs of displaced communities and others impacted by the war, MSF scaled up its activities in Iraq in areas where displaced people were settling, areas close to the front lines, and in other locations across the country including in Ninawa, Baghdad, Kirkuk, Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, Duhok, Najaf, Karbala, Babil and Al-Anbar.

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