Falluja relief convoy appeals to U.N.

Al Jazeera

November 14, 2004

An Iraqi Red Crescent convoy blocked from entering Falluja by US forces has appealed to the United Nations.

US troops have directed the convoy into the Falluja hospital on the outskirts of the town, away from the reach of local citizens.

Abu Fahd, a member of the relief convoy, told Aljazeera that "the relief convoy wants to enter Falluja town for humanitarian purposes only, to save women, children and elderly people".

"I hope the United Nations will hear our appeals."
"We are now in Falluja hospital, outside the city," he said. "There is no one in the hospital except the medical team, doing nothing."

"None of the injured residents are being allowed to come to the hospital, while those outside are not allowed to go into the town," Abu Fahd said.

"The town is suffering from cut in power and water supplies. There are no medicines or ambulances either.

"The injured and the dead are now on the streets. Many families want to get out of their houses, but they have no alternative shelters to go into," he said.

"The US forces have prevented us from entering the town claiming it is not safe.
US forces have said they control 80% of the town."

Relief team
"I have asked them to allow the relief team into the areas they control, to offer humanitarian aid for women, children and the elderly, and transfer the injured to the hospital, but they have refused," Abu Fahd said.

"The injured and the dead are now on the streets"
The Red Crescent sent a convoy of essential goods along with 53 volunteers and three doctors from Baghdad to attend to people in Falluja.

It believes that 150 families are still in the heart of Falluja, but it is concerned about the plight of tens of thousands of people living in refugee camps and villages dotted outside.

"They are dying of starvation and lack of water, especially the children," Red Crescent spokeswoman Firdus al-Ubadi said.

"If there is no solution to this crisis it will expand to other cities and other parts of Iraq and there will be a great disaster here."

Earlier, the Red Crescent society despatched a convoy of four relief trucks and an ambulance to Amiriyat al-Falluja and a tourist village in Habbaniya, where an additional 1500 refugees are camped.