Press release: Emergency UK aid for displaced people in Iraq

The UK is releasing an £8 million package of emergency humanitarian assistance to get lifesaving aid to tens of thousands of people across northern and central Iraq who have fled ISIL terrorists, International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced today.

This emergency help, which brings total UK support for those displaced in Iraq to £13 million, will include:

  • £2 million of emergency humanitarian supplies for 75,000 people, including aid that can be air dropped to help those trapped in the Sinjar Mountains as quickly as possible. Supplies will include reusable filtration containers filled with clean water, tents and tarpaulins to provide basic shelter, and solar lights that can also recharge mobile phones to enable communication.

  • £3 million of fast-tracked funding that will go to charities and NGOs who are already on the ground and helping displaced people in northern Iraq. This will go via DFID’s Rapid Response Facility, which has now been activated to deal with the crisis;

  • £2.5 million of support for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to provide immediate medical and humanitarian assistance; and

  • a further £500,000 that will ensure Kurdish and UN systems are able to coordinate and respond to humanitarian needs in the region.

Justine Greening said:

The world has been horrified by the brutal persecution of vulnerable minority groups by ISIL extremists in Iraq. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes and we are extremely concerned for their safety.

This aid from the British people will help the Yazidi community, who are now cut off on Mount Sinjar, get immediate emergency support. It will also ensure thousands more people get medical help, shelter, food and clean water.

It is absolutely vital that the UN gets the access it needs and the British government is working with the international community to push for this.

Notes to editors

  1. The £8 million in new aid announced today brings to £13 million the total aid to Iraq announced since the current crisis began. It follows £5 million already provided by the UK to the UN Iraq Humanitarian Strategic Response Plan, for UN and NGO partners to support up to 140,000 people.
  2. The £5 million of existing UK funding is helping to provide emergency medicines, including polio and measles vaccinations, food and basic shelter to women, men and children affected by the crisis. It will also enable aid agencies on the ground to trace and reunite families who have been separated while fleeing from the violence. A humanitarian advisor has also been deployed to Erbil, working closely with the UN and other partners to ensure aid reaches those most in need.
  3. The Rapid Response Facility (RRF) was established in March 2012. It is a network of pre-approved specialist aid organisations and private businesses who can rapidly deliver emergency medical, water and sanitation assistance to people in need.

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