The European Commission will increase its humanitarian assistance to Iraq by €5 million following the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people as a result of the recent attacks perpetrated by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and other armed groups. This additional funding will bring the total 2014 humanitarian funding for Iraq to €12 million.
Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva said, "This fresh wave of violence has terrible consequences for vulnerable children, women and men. Our new funding comes on top of €3 million I announced in March during my visit to Baghdad and the Kurdish region of Iraq in anticipation of a further deterioration in the country's security. It will help relieve suffering by providing basic services and assistance. I appeal to all parties to the fighting to ensure the safety of civilians and to respect the role of humanitarians working in dangerous conditions."
The recent spate of displacement was precipitated by the capture of the city of Mosul by ISIL and attacks by armed opposition groups targeting the governorates of Ninewah, Salah Al-Din, Diyala and Al Anbar. Up to half a million people have been displaced from Ninewah so far, adding to the more than 400 000 persons already displaced in the last six months.
The full scale of the humanitarian disaster is as yet unclear, as many displaced families are currently being hosted by relatives and communities of origin. The number of displaced people is expected to rise due to the severity of the fighting. The European Commission has been preparing its response to new waves of displacement and this additional funding is a further step in that process.