World Bulletin/News Desk
A senior government official said Sunday that the situation of tens of thousands of internally displaced residents of violence-wracked Anbar province is "tragic," after over three months of fighting in the western, predominantly Sunni province.
"The situation of Anbar's [internally] displaced residents is dire and tragic," Salam al-Khafagi, Deputy Minister of Emigration, told Anadolu Agency on Sunday.
Since December, around 500,000 Iraqis have fled their homes in the restive province to neighboring areas, according to government figures, heading mostly to the northern provinces of Saladin, Kirkuk, Babil and Karbala.
"All the families who have fled to other provinces are facing humiliating situations," he added.
Al-Khafagi went on to say that the ministry might have to establish makeshift camps for the displaced families if the fighting continues much longer.
"It will not be an easy project for the ministry to take on but it will be the only choice," al-Khafagi said.
"Many displaced families can no longer afford to keep the apartments they had rented."
The government has allocated roughly $18 million in urgent assistance to families whose homes were damaged in the recent military operation against militancy in the province.
In December, the Iraqi army launched its offensive in Sunni-majority Anbar with the stated aim of flushing militants out of the key cities of Ramadi and Fallujah.
Hundreds have been killed or injured since violence broke out in the two cities, according to government estimates.
Last Mod: 23 Mart 2014, 13:21