UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) — Newly appointed UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien urged in a statement published on the United Nations website on Tuesday to provide more financial assistance to Iraqi refugees.
“Since January 2014, more than three million Iraqis have been displaced from their homes and over eight million people are in need of assistance. Aid agencies urgently need access to vulnerable people in need as well as funding for critical relief work."
The UN official added that the United Nations is working to ensure that emergency assistance is provided wherever it is needed in Iraq. He noted that $497 million are urgently needed to cover the most basic needs in Iraq, including shelter, food, water and other life-saving services over the coming six months.
O’Brien warned that the humanitarian situation in Iraq could deteriorate further in the coming months amid recent advances of ISIL radicals and emphasized the commitment of the United Nations and its partners to work closely with the Iraqi authorities on the delivery of humanitarian aid.
Last month, ISIL militants captured Ramadi, the capital of the Anbar province located some 80 miles west of Baghdad. Iraqi forces and Kurdish militias are attempting to counter the advance of the Islamic State on the ground, while a US-led international coalition is conducting airstrikes on ISIL positions.