Iraq Humanitarian Crisis Event at UNGA

On September 22, Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL Brett McGurk co-chaired a high-level event on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly with the European Union, Organization of Islamic Coordination, International Committee of the Red Cross, and United Nations to focus on Iraq’s humanitarian crisis. Assistant Secretary for Population, Refugees, and Migration Anne Richard also addressed the group on humanitarian protection concerns. The event raised attention on the urgent assistance needs that have been identified via the Government of Iraq and United Nations as they prepare to respond to and manage the potential complex humanitarian emergency that could ensue as part of the operation to liberate Mosul.

At today’s event, Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim Jaafari and Kurdish Director for External Relations Fallah Mustafa underscored the strong coordination that is now underway between Baghdad and Erbil as we prepare for the forthcoming military campaign and humanitarian response simultaneously.

Thanks to the generosity of partner countries, today’s event generated nearly an additional $100 million in pledged humanitarian assistance to address needs. However, significant challenges remain to cover the financing for vital shelter, water/sanitation, medical, and foodstuff programs that could be required to address the needs of the large numbers that could be displaced. The co-chairs of today’s event join the Government of Iraq in urging the international community to take all possible measures to provide additional funding and expedite the fulfillment of humanitarian assistance pledges to help meet the needs of Iraqis who may be displaced in the coming weeks as Mosul is liberated from ISIL’s grip.

While needs remain acute, the international community has taken significant steps to help Iraq meet the enormous challenges it is facing. In Washington in July donors came together to raise $2.3 billion for Iraq stabilization programming, humanitarian assistance, and demining. The United States to date has provided more than $1.1 billion in humanitarian assistance for Iraqis since FY 2014, including the $181 million announced during Deputy Secretary Blinken’s visit to Iraq on September 14.

Source: U.S. State Department.

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