US Secretary of State John Kerry today announced that the United States is providing nearly $155 million in additional humanitarian assistance to displaced and conflict-affected Iraqis within Iraq and throughout the region who are in urgent need of support.
This new funding brings total U.S. humanitarian assistance for the Iraq humanitarian response to more than $778 million since the start of Fiscal Year 2014.
Secretary Kerry announced the humanitarian assistance following a meeting with Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari, during which he underscored the US Administration's strong support for the Iraqi government as it addresses significant security, economic, and political challenges.
He also voiced Washington's unequivocal support for Baghdad government in its brave fight against Daesh.
al-Jaafari said his talks with Kerry had touched on ways of serving mutual interests and boosting joint efforts to tackle common risks facing the region and the world at large as well as latest political and security developments and the war against Daesh terrorist gangs.
In addition, the Secretary also met with Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Nechrivan Barzani, to discuss current developments in Iraq.
Since January 2014, more than 3.4 million Iraqis have been displaced. Out of a total population of 33 million, the UN estimates that 10 million people across the country are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, including an estimated three million living in Daesh-held territory. More than one million school-aged Iraqi children, or 20 percent nationwide, are out of school.
Through the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and a number of international organizations and non-governmental organizations, this contribution will help offer shelter, protection, core relief items, camp coordination and management assistance; it will also provide much-needed water and sanitation, health care, and other vital food and non-food items. In addition to assisting conflict-affected Iraqis within Iraq, UNHCR also assists Iraqi refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Syria.
This funding also will support UNICEF’s goal to increase access to safe learning spaces, quality education, and sustained psychosocial support for the most vulnerable children, and to help meet UNICEF’s targets of providing 550,000 displaced children with learning materials, assisting 22,330 displaced children with access to learning, and training 5,000 teachers.
The United States urges all nations to contribute robustly to United Nations humanitarian appeals for Iraq. Despite continuing support from the United States, more needs to be done, and the international community’s help is urgently needed.