Extra emergency aid for Iraq

Continuing violence by ISIS in recent months has created a large new flow of displaced persons. Over eight million people are in acute need of food, medicine and shelter. The Netherlands is therefore donating an extra €4 million to the UN for humanitarian aid.

The Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen, said, ‘The terror caused by ISIS, the refugee flows and the shortages of necessities have combined to create a grave emergency. This extra support is desperately needed.’

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have also fled their homes because of the violence and terror caused by ISIS. Millions of people are deprived of the most basic necessities, partly as a result of attacks on water and electricity supply stations. ‘Reception camps can’t cope with the thousands of new refugees. Families and children live outside the camps, in unfinished buildings. The villages where they end up are under pressure. The humanitarian crisis is so great that the Iraqi government and the Kurdish authorities cannot cope,’ the minister said.

This year, the UN needs around $500 million for the most critical humanitarian aid in Iraq. However, it is difficult to get sufficient funding from international donors. The UN will use the extra Dutch contribution for the reception of new displaced persons, sanitation and food. This brings the total amount contributed by the Netherlands for the purpose of direct emergency aid in the last year to €28 million. ‘The Netherlands is shouldering its responsibility. I’m counting on other countries to do likewise, and not to abandon refugees and displaced persons,’ Ms Ploumen said.