The European Commission is scaling up its response to the humanitarian crisis in Iraq with a new aid package worth €42.5m. The funding was announced by EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, during his fifth visit to the country since taking office.
“At this critical point in the battle to liberate Mosul, I am visiting the conflict areas to reiterate EU support and personally assess the needs,” said Stylianides during a visit to the Qayaarah camp for internally displaced people on March 6.
“The humanitarian funds I announced will be instrumental to help the most vulnerable populations in active conflict areas including Mosul, Telafar and Hawidja, civilians in newly liberated areas and those forcibly displaced,” he added. “I call again for the protection of all civilians during and after the conduct of hostilities and for humanitarian access to be guaranteed to all people in need, everywhere. This is essential both for saving lives and for future prospects of reconciliation and stability in Iraq and the whole region.”
According to a European Commission press release, the initial allocation for 2017 comes on top of over €159m in humanitarian assistance that the Commission has already made available in 2016 and the delivery of 266 tonnes of aid offered by countries through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism in response to Mosul emergency.
EU aid is covering the essential needs of the most vulnerable in Iraq, including food, health care, water, sanitation and hygiene as well as protection, shelter and education in emergencies.
Since the beginning of the Mosul military operations in October 2016, more than 200,000 people have been displaced, of whom 57,000 have returned to their places of origin – mainly to the eastern bank of Mosul city.
Since 2015, the European Commission has provided over €309m in humanitarian aid through partner organisations.
Source: New Europe, MARCH 8, 2017
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