UNITED NATIONS, September 14 (RIA Novosti) - Up to 1.8 million people have been displaced in Iraq since January as the Islamic State (IS) has advanced, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said Sunday.
Speaking in Baghdad after a three day visit to Iraq, Amos estimated that "twenty million people across Iraq have been affected since the first wave of displacement took place in January this year."
She added the "Kurdistan region of Iraq has now received more than 850,000 internally displaced people since the beginning of the year. One in every four Iraqis displaced since January 2014 has sought refuge in Dohuk Governorate."
Amos also spoke of the impacts on people already living in Dohuk, noted that "with more than 650 schools in Dohuk Governorate now hosting IDPs, thousands of Kurdish school children did not start school on September 10 as scheduled."
"We now urgently need a clear strategy from the Iraqi Government setting out the scale of the challenge and the resources available from them to tackle it," Amos said.
For this plan, Amos said, "a key factor in covering a significant part of the needs in this humanitarian crisis will be the restoration of payment of salaries, the dispatching of medical supplies through the central system and the resumption of the Public Distribution System for food."
Concluding with a request for financial support, Amos urged for "sustained funding and support" that she said would be needed in the months ahead.
The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, it launched an offensive in Iraq and seized vast areas in both countries, proclaiming an Islamic caliphate on the territories under its control.