Accessibility links

U.S. Sends Aid to Iraq But More Needed

FILE - Iraqi children, most of them internally displaced persons, wait in line for free food being distributed at a mosque in Baghdad, Iraq, June 23, 2015.

The expansion of the militant group DAESH, its brutal and violent attacks against the civilian population of Iraq have caused a humanitarian catastrophe.

In early August, Secretary of State John Kerry announced another $62 million in humanitarian assistance for Iraqis who have been affected by violence, and are in urgent need of assistance from the international community.

The money will go to a range of United Nations and other international and non-governmental agencies, among them the UN High Commissioner for Refugees; the UN Children’s Fund, universally known as UNICEF; and the International Organization for Migration.

The expansion of the militant group DAESH, its brutal and violent attacks against the civilian population of Iraq, and the subsequent effort of Iraqi forces to take back DAESH-occupied territories and to destroy the group, have caused a humanitarian catastrophe.

According to a recent United Nations report, during the 16-month period ending on April 30 of this year, nearly 15,000 Iraqis were killed, 30,000 wounded more than three million have fled their homes. All in all, about 8.2 million people — roughly one in four Iraqis — need urgent assistance, and half need food. Added to that are some 300,000 refugees who have fled from DAESH-controlled territories in Syria and sought refuge in Iraq.

In June, the United Nations sent out an international appeal for 497 million dollars to cover the costs of humanitarian aid for Iraq over the next six months. Sadly, only 8 percent of that appeal has been funded.

This latest, $62 million donation brings the total U.S. humanitarian assistance for Iraq since the start of Fiscal Year 2014, to more than $477 million. The United States calls on all members of the community of nations to respond to the United Nations appeal for the people of Iraq.

“No amount of military force will in the end terminate Daesh’s horrific violence if it is not also matched by a broader political and economic effort that addresses the underlying conditions that have allowed this group to gain traction,” said Secretary of State Kerry. “That includes addressing the dire humanitarian situation.”