UK announces £10m in extra humanitarian aid for Iraq

The UK is to give an extra £10m in humanitarian aid to Iraqis displaced by the conflict in the country.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced the funds on the second day of a visit to Iraq.

She said the situation there was “deeply worrying”, with thousands of people forced from their homes by the fighting and living in makeshift camps.

The UK has already given £13m, including 62 tonnes of food, 1,574 tents and 840 water filtration sets.

RAF planes have undertaken seven missions to deliver aid to thousands of Yazidi civilians trapped on Mount Sinjar while there have been eight flights by the Department for International Development to the northern city of Irbil.

The Iraqi authorities and Kurdish militia are battling militants from Islamic State and allied Sunni groups, which control large parts of the north and west of the country.

The United Nations Refugee Agency has estimated there are up to a million internally displaced people in Iraq, as well as up to 500,000 refugees from the civil war in Syria and 100,000 stateless people.

The UK had already given £13m in aid.

Of the new funds, £6.5m is being given to non-government organisations (NGOs) working on the ground while £2m is to ensure the rapid delivery of emergency supplies.

About £500,000 is going to the International Red Cross to help communities cut off from forms of outside help while £20,000 will go to setting up a camp for displaced people near Dahuk.

Other resources will go to supporting logistics and to facilitate a safety hub for humanitarian workers.

Speaking after meeting Kurdish President Masoud Barzani in Irbil and meeting displaced people at a camp in Bakhara, Ms Greening said the UK was “scaling up” its efforts to help the most vulnerable.

“Hundreds of thousands have been forced from their homes and thousands are surviving in makeshift camps as the fighting continues,” she said.

“I am particularly concerned about increasing reports of human trafficking and violence against women, as well as children suffering terrible trauma.

“Britain has been quick to respond and I have seen for myself how lifesaving supplies of food, water and shelter are making a real difference to people who have been left with nothing.

“But we can do more, and will do more.”

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