New support from the UK will ensure thousands of families in Iraq can survive the first winter since being forced to flee their homes by ISIL terrorists, International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced today.
The £16.5 million in new funding will provide essential help including warm clothing, tents, blankets, heaters and other essential supplies as winter sets in across Iraq and temperatures drop below zero. It brings the total UK commitment to £39.5 million.
Justine Greening called on other countries to follow the UK’s lead and step up with new funding. The UN now estimates that 2.1 million Iraqis have been displaced since January 2014 and are in desperate need of help.
The new UK funding will be delivered through partner agencies already delivering help on the ground inside Iraq including UNHCR and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). This new funding is expected to:
- deliver blankets, heating stoves and other essential winter supplies to 14,000 vulnerable displaced families;
- provide cash and voucher assistance to help 16,000 families buy warm winter clothing such as coats and shoes along with other essentials;
- ensure 4,500 families are sheltered from winter conditions, including delivery of all-weather tents and repairs to unfinished and derelict buildings sheltering displaced people; and
- provide emergency health support and increased access to safe water for thousands of vulnerable Iraqis.
“ISIL has brutally and indiscriminately murdered and driven out Christians, Yazidis and Muslims alike across Iraq. The UK was among the first to respond to this crisis, providing help where the need was greatest, irrespective of religion or ethnicity, Justine Greening said.
“As winter takes hold, temperatures will plummet and thousands of women, children and other vulnerable Iraqis face bitter conditions with no protection from snowfall, blizzards and flooding. The UK is providing essential, lifesaving winter supplies. Others must now urgently follow suit, before the worst of the winter weather takes hold.”