The provision of aid to displaced Iraqi civilians is a major pillar in a comprehensive strategy to fight the terrorist organization ISIL, said U.S. President Barack Obama:
“We will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to innocent civilians who’ve been displaced by this terrorist organization. This includes Sunni and Shia Muslims who are at grave risk, as well as tens of thousands of Christians and other religious minorities. We cannot allow these communities to be driven from their ancient homelands.”
The United States will provide $48 million in additional humanitarian aid to the region, building upon previous aid for a total of more than $186 million in fiscal year 2014.
Nearly $37 million will be provided through international and non-governmental organizations working to meet the needs of the internally displaced within Iraq. And nearly $11 million will be directed to assist Iraqi refugees who have fled to Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.
U.S. humanitarian aid is providing food and clean water, shelter materials, latrines and sanitation infrastructure, hygiene kits, and other urgently needed relief supplies to help the 1.8 million people who have been displaced inside Iraq since January and the more than 141,000 Iraqi refugees in the region.
The USAID Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), which is based in Erbil, is working closely with local officials, the United Nations, other donors, and humanitarian relief agencies to identify needs and scale up life-saving assistance for those caught in the midst of the conflict.
Last week, USAID airlifted 60 metric tons of much-needed relief supplies to help families in some of the most conflict-affected areas in Iraq. A portion of these supplies are already being distributed by the International Organization for Migration to families in Amerli, which was recently liberated from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
The United States and a broad coalition of partners stand with the Iraqi people in their fight against ISIL. Many partner states have already pledged contributions of humanitarian aid to the region and some are accepting refugees. As U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said:
“Almost every single country on Earth has a role to play in eliminating the ISIL threat and the evil that it represents.”