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Immediate, safe and unhindered humanitarian access is now needed

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ERBIL, 31 July 2014 – The United Nations has expressed concern over rising levels of violence and instability across Iraq and its impact on the lives of everyday citizens.

“Immediate, safe and unhindered humanitarian access is now needed,” Dr. Jacqueline Badcock, the Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (DSRSG), and Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, said. “We urgently need to deliver lifesaving assistance and restore basic services to conflict-affected communities, as well as new and existing IDPs and refugees, irrespective of their religion, ethnicity or affiliation.”

More than 500,000 people have been displaced since June, bringing the total this year to 1.4 million, including more than 230,000 Syrian refugees. Between January and June this year, 5,500 people have been killed and 12,000 injured. Almost 900 people have been killed in July alone.

Many of the newly displaced have fled to Kurdish-controlled areas or the south, while others remain trapped in active conflict zones and in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

In many cases, basic services have been targeted, including health facilities, water supplies and power grids, creating additional, unnecessary suffering to the civilian population.

“Civilians must be guaranteed that they can leave areas affected by the violence in dignity and safety with their right to access humanitarian assistance respected,” Ms. Badcock said.

“The UN and humanitarian partners are ready to assist, but to do so all parties to the conflict must agree to stop the hostilities and guarantee the safe and unimpeded access of humanitarian staff and goods to communities in need,” she said.

The United Nations in Iraq
For further information, please contact:
Barbara Manzi, OCHA Head of Office in Iraq, manzi@un.org, Cell +964-750-312-9201
David Swanson, OCHA Public Information Officer, swanson@un.org, Cell +964-750-377-0849
or the UNAMI Public Information Office: unami-information@un.org

United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq
Public Information Office, Baghdad
Phone: +3908 3105 2644 or +3908 3105 2640
http://www.uniraq.org/
https://twitter.com/UNiraq
http://www.flickr.com/photos/uniraq/
https://www.facebook.com/UnitedNationsIraq

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.