EU increases humanitarian aid

UPDATE: As of 13 August the UN has officially ranked Iraq as a 'Level 3' crisis, the highest ranking for humanitarian crises. Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva will be discussing the worsening situation in the country with EU Foreign Ministers on Friday 15 August at an extraordinary meeting of the EU Council organised by HR Catherine Ashton.

The European Commission is giving €5 million in further relief aid to respond to the growing humanitarian needs in Iraq. The additional funding will bring vital assistance to hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians trapped by the fighting and in severe humanitarian need.

Speaking on this latest crisis, Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva said, "I am appalled by the dire humanitarian situation which is worsening every day, with more than 200 000 people forced from their homes by fighting in northern Iraq and now in desperate need of assistance. More than 40 000 members of the Yazidi minority are still trapped in the Sinjar mountains by the armed groups of ISIL/IS. The European Commission strongly condemns attacks on Iraqi civilians who are being deliberately targeted."

The Commission has repeatedly scaled up its humanitarian aid in Iraq this year and opened a humanitarian office on the ground. Early action has enabled the Commission to provide assistance to the more than one million displaced civilians in 2014.