Iraq

DFID commits additional £10 Million for humanitarian needs in Iraq

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DFID today announced an additional =A310 million for UN agencies and NGOs to support their preparations for humanitarian needs in Iraq following any military action in Iraq. This brings the total committed for contingency planning to =A320 million.

Of the new allocation =A36 million will go to the World Food Programme who are pre-positioning enough food to meet the needs of two million people for one month to help cope with the possible interruption to the Oil For Food Programme, on which 60% of the Iraqi population depends. In addition =A34 million is to be disbursed to NGOs, including the International Red Cross.

The Ministry of Defence is making its own plans to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to Iraqi people in any area of the country which UK forces may occupy, in keeping with their Geneva and Hague Convention obligations. DFID humanitarian specialists are advising the armed forces on how to address urgent humanitarian need in advance of UN agencies and NGOs being able to operate safely in a post-conflict environment.

Notes to Editors:

1. DFID has long held the humanitarian situation of the Iraqi people as a major concern. Since 1991 DFID has spent more than =A3100m on humanitarian relief to Iraq, and contributed another =A315m through the EC.

2. For further information on humanitarian contingency planning for Iraq please see the statement made to the House of Commons on 12 March which is available on our website - www.dfid.gov.uk.