On Sunday, Iraqi forces announced they had taken full control of Fallujah, just over one month after they launched their campaign to liberate the city from more than two years of ISIS rule.
What does it mean for the 86,000 people who fled over the last few weeks alone?
Bottom line: Fallujah may be “liberated,” but the crisis is far, far from over.
While the devastation has not been as complete as it was in other recently liberated cities like Ramadi or Sinjar, many of the homes in Fallujah were damaged or destroyed in the fighting. Dozens of buildings are reportedly torched. The hospital, we are told, is damaged. Many parts of the city still have to be checked for ISIS mines.
In other words, it will be weeks or, more likely, months before anyone can safely return.
There are still 86,000 people displaced—and that’s not counting thousands more who fled long before the battle began.
There are still 86,000 people stranded in the desert, who need your help.
The displacement camps around Fallujah are still overflowing. In fact, many in the camps have yet to be told their city has been liberated from ISIS.
Supplies of food, water, and tents are still dwarfed by the overwhelming need. Many men are still being held for security purposes, separated from their families. Many children still have to sleep in a strange, unfamiliar place at night, without the comforting presence of their dad nearby.
None of this will change overnight.
Before long, the world’s attention will turn away from Fallujah, but we must not look away. You have already done so much for the people of Fallujah. In fact, as the crisis began to unfold, NO ONE gave more emergency food aid than you. And not just a few meager rations here and there—you’re giving each family a month’s worth of nutritious, sustaining food.
Fallujah’s children need you to continue to stand with them, even—and especially—after the rest of the world moves on. They need you to continue showing up. It is still a long time before many of them will be able to return home. Right now, they need to know they are not alone.
Every $65 you give helps feed a displaced family for a month.