As winter hits displaced Iraqis, UN appeals for boost in humanitarian funding

This child was among thousands of Iraqis who fled to the high-altitude region of northern Kurdistan during the winter of 2014 with nothing but the clothes on their backs, and found themselves entirely dependent on humanitarian agencies. Photo: OCHA/Iason Athanasiadis

23 December 2014 – The United Nations today called for a surge in humanitarian funding to help cover the basic needs of close to one million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Iraq’s Kurdistan region amid plummeting temperatures and wintry conditions.

In a joint press statement issued today, the UN and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) appealed for an “urgent” boost of $152.2 million to help provide food and shelter as well as health assistance to those that have fled the ongoing conflict in the country.

Over the past several months, Iraq has been convulsed by increasing instability amid an ongoing offensive by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), leading people to seek shelter in unfinished buildings, informal settlements, or overwhelmed public structures, as well as in the open air.

As people continue to flee the violence in the country, an estimated 946,000 Iraqis have sought sanctuary in Kurdistan since January, increasing the demands on the KRG and the UN’s country presence.

As a result, both have responded with the jointly-supported Immediate Response Plan II (IRP2), covering the period of 15 November 2014 to 31 March 2015 and placing particular focus on shelter, food, water and sanitation, health education and comprehensive IDP registration, especially as the cold winter months set in.

“The winter months are particularly worrisome,” said Jacqueline Badcock, the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq. “It’s cold and the worse is yet to come. It’s critical we step up our efforts.”


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Iraq: as cold weather hits displaced persons, UN steps up humanitarian appeal

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