Deputy UN Relief Chief Kyung-Wha Kang Says Iraqi Humanitarian Crisis Deserves Much More Attention [EN/AR/KU]

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(Baghdad/Erbil, 30 November 2015): Kyung-wha Kang, the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs visited Baghdad and Erbil to discuss the humanitarian crisis. “The human cost of the crisis is devastating. We are extremely worried that all indicators point to a dramatically worsening situation in the months ahead,” Ms. Kang said.

“I spoke with women who had lost virtually everything. If we are to succeed in responding to their most basic needs, we need increased capacity, as well as improved access and security. Insecurity puts the whole aid operation in Iraq at risk,” said Ms. Kang.

“The economic crisis impacting the Kurdistan region and the country is terribly worrying. This is the time for the international community to step forward and provide urgent funding for lifesaving assistance. If this doesn’t happen, the impact will be terribly damaging,” Ms. Kang stressed.

“Funding is needed to keep programmes open and to help rebuild areas retaken from ISIL so that people can return voluntarily and safely to their homes,” Ms. Kang said at the end of her two-day mission.

“Iraq is one of the world’s most serious crises, in one of the world’s most volatile regions. There’s no question - the international community has to do more,” Ms. Kang said after meeting with senior officials in Baghdad and Erbil, and with frontline partners.

The United Nations estimates that 10 million people in Iraq are now in need of some form of humanitarian assistance. Close to 3.2 million people have been internally displaced since January 2014. Humanitarian response efforts in Iraq are critically underfunded. Of the highly prioritized plan of US$498 million that was launched in June to respond to the most acute needs in the second half of 2015, less than 50 percent has been received, forcing humanitarian partners to close scores of lifesaving programmes.

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