The UK is stepping up support for families in Iraq that have been forced to flee their homes by ISIL fighting, International Development Secretary Justine Greening has announced.
The £20 million in new funding will provide tens of thousands of the most vulnerable Iraqis, including women and girls, with access to water, medicine, and food as well as cash assistance to buy essential supplies.
This new support comes as the UN launches a revised humanitarian appeal for Iraq and brings the UK’s humanitarian response to the Iraq crisis to £59.5 million. International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:
ISIL’s indiscriminate persecution has left millions of Iraqis in desperate need of help. The UK has been at the forefront of the humanitarian response and this new funding will provide aid to tens of thousands of children, families and other vulnerable people forced to flee their homes. Others must now follow this lead.
The images on our televisions of people risking their lives to cross the Mediterranean are a reminder that conflict and instability in Iraq and elsewhere continues to turn people’s lives upside down.
That is why the world cannot ignore the terrible plight these people find themselves in, caught up in conflict. It is so important that the international community provides people not only with immediate, life-saving help where they are, whether in refugee camps or living in nearby communities, but ultimately with hope for a better future and the prospect of rebuilding their lives.
More than 8 million people in Iraq now require life-saving assistance according to the UN, with 2.9 million forced to flee their homes since January 2014. The £20 million announced today will address some of the urgent needs identified by the UN, and will be delivered via UN agencies and other humanitarian partners in Iraq.
- The Department for International Development (DFID) is leading the UK’s humanitarian response to the crisis created by ISIL in Iraq and Syria.
- In the summer of 2014, DFID responded to the rapidly growing number of Iraqis fleeing their homes by allocating £23 million in emergency humanitarian assistance. These funds have provided food, shelter, water, sanitation and medical care, to thousands of vulnerable displaced families across Iraq.
- In December 2014, as winter approached and temperatures dropped below zero, we continued our support with an extra £16.5 million to provide essential aid to tens of thousands of families.
- This includes delivering blankets, heating stoves and other essential winter supplies to 14,000 vulnerable displaced families; helping 16,000 families buy warm winter clothing; ensuring 4,500 families are sheltered from winter conditions and providing emergency health support and increased access to safe water for thousands of vulnerable Iraqis.
- More widely, UK support is helping to build stability in Iraq, supporting diplomatic and military efforts to defeat ISIL, and contributing to a new UN Development Programme fund to support stabilisation in Iraq.