World Bulletin/News Desk
As winter nears, about 5.2 million people in Iraq are in need of humanitarian assistance, the United Nations said on Monday.
"800,000 people (in Iraq) are in urgent need of shelter and many more are in need of winterization assistance," said the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Geneva director Rashid Khalikov.
"We have 5.2 million Iraqis in need of assistance," said Khalikov, speaking at a joint press conference on Iraq with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). “1.8 million people have been displaced since January 2014 - half of them are children."
Khalikov added that there were 2.2 million people in Iraq living in areas controlled by the ISIL.
He estimated that ISIL controlled about one-third of Iraq. ISIL militants also occupy large areas of Syria.
"We have just launched the Strategic Response Plan last Thursday which requests $2.2 billion to cover the humanitarian and protection needs of 5.2 million people by the end of December 2015. To date, more than $600 million have been contributed," Khalikov said.
"Unfortunately, the sentiment in Iraq is that this crisis will not end in the near future," the Organization of Islamic Cooperation assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, Hesham Youssef, said in the joint press conference.
There are 400 schools in the Kurdish region in Iraq that have postponed the start of the school year as they are being used as temporary shelters for displaced Iraqis, Youssef said.
Noting that both Khalikov and Youssef had visited the Turkish/Iraqi border where refugees were crossing into Turkey, Youssef said, "On a daily basis - around 12,000 refugees so far in the last two weeks or so" had entered into Turkey from Iraq.
Last Mod: 28 Ekim 2014, 09:57