Baghdad, 13 August 2014 – The United Nations have declared a ‘Level 3 Emergency’ for Iraq. “Given the scale and complexity of the current humanitarian catastrophe, this measure will facilitate mobilization of additional resources in goods, funds and assets to ensure a more effective response to the humanitarian needs of populations affected by forced displacements”, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq (SRSG), Mr. Nickolay Mladenov said.
“The situation of displaced people on Sinjar Mountain remains of critical concern, where tens of thousands of people are reportedly still trapped, with health conditions quickly deteriorating”, said UNICEF Representative to Iraq, Marzio Babille, who also confirmed that UNICEF and other humanitarian actors are stepping up efforts to meet the growing needs of those who are being extracted from Sinjar Mountain, in addition to helping meet the needs of a further 12,000 displaced Christians who are now sheltering in the Kurdish capital, Erbil.
The situation in Dahuk is also of a grave concern. Meeting with the Governor, Farhad Atrushi, whose Governorate has seen an influx of more than 200,000 people since ‘ISIL’ overran swathes of northern Iraq, and a total of 400,000 displaced since June, WFP Iraq Country Director Jane Pearce and UNHCR Iraq Country Representative Shoko Shimozawa pledged to support the Dahuk Governorate in its considerable efforts to meet the needs of those tens of thousands of displaced Iraqis.
“Declaring the crisis in Iraq a ‘Level 3 Emergency’, which represents the highest level of humanitarian crisis, will help trigger more resources and expedite administrative procedures for the response”, Mr. Mladenov underlined. Three other crises in the world are currently sharing the same emergency status: Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
In the past few days, various UN Agencies have responded as follows:
· UNCHR has reached 166,000 people with protection monitoring across Iraq. Since 1st August, it provided shelter and relief items such as hygiene products, mattresses, blankets, stoves and plastic sheeting to 30,000 people in the Kurdistan region, including those escaping Mount Sinjar. UNHCR is distributing mattresses, blankets, emergency relief kits, household items and hygiene kits to locations in Dohuk, Zakho, Akre, Shekhan, Khanke and the village of Bajet Kandela
· WFP has established 4 field kitchens with its local partners and is feeding over 100,000 people per day, totalling over 1.6 million meals in Dahuk Governorate since the August wave of displacement.
· UNICEF has moved 30 truckloads of relief supplies closer to areas where displaced people are arriving, in addition to conducting distribution of life-saving aid throughout Dahuk Governorate. In total, 60 tons of emergency aid are prepared including 1,100 cartons of emergency food rations, 500 cartons of high protein food supplements, 40 boxes of oral rehydration solution and 15 climatized 72 square meter tents for emergency shelter. With its partners and local authorities, UNICEF has delivered aid to 73,000 children, women and their families, distributed 34,000 high energy biscuits for children under five, and is also providing support to displaced children who have been separated from their families.
· WHO continues supporting local health authorities in the field, with two mobile health teams on Mount Sinjar and emergency relief at Pesh Khabur, where 16 ambulances are transporting those arriving, and mobile clinics providing emergency health care to the displaced across Dahuk Governorate.
· UNFPA is working with local authorities and partners to distribute hygiene supplies and clothing to over 1,300 pregnant women as well as medical supplies to support 150,000 people.
· IOM, at the request of the Kurdistan Regional Government, is transporting IDPs from affected areas to agreed safe areas. Over the last 48 hours, 2,121 IDPs have been provided with transportation assistance. Between 4 and 12 August, in response to the Sinjar crisis, IOM has reached an estimated number of 15,000 beneficiaries through the distribution of 2,533 Non Food Item kits in affected areas and 500 Women Dignity Kits on behalf of other partner agencies.
For more information, please contact: Ms. Eliana Nabaa, Director of Public Information/Spokesperson United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Phone: +964 790 193 1281, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or the UNAMI Public Information Office: email@example.com