Medical group: Iraqis fleeing Fallujah lack shelter, water

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Doctors Without Borders says thousands of Iraqi civilians fleeing the besieged city of Fallujah have been without access to medicine for months and are fleeing to areas without adequate water and sanitation, raising the likelihood of epidemics like cholera breaking out.

The medical aid group, also known by its French acronym MSF, is assisting around 20,000 civilians from Fallujah who have fled to three main sites.

Speaking to The Associated Press in Dubai on Tuesday, the head of MSF’s mission in Iraq, Fabio Forgione, says families who’ve fled to camps are facing a lack of shelter and clean drinking water. A cholera outbreak last year infected some 2,800 people in Iraq.

The U.N. estimates 42,000 people have fled Fallujah since a military operation to retake the city began in May.