– I am really concerned for the increasing conflict in Iraq. The urgent demand for help in Iraq must be met immediately. First of all there is a need of food, water, shelter, health services and protection for the local population. Norway will contribute with 60 million NOK in humanitarian aid to people effected by the conflicts, says Minister of Foreign Affairs, Børge Brende.
The organization Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) attacked Mosul, next largest city in Iraq, forcing 500.000 people to flee. Around 300.000 of those people fled towards the Kurdish majority areas in Northern-Iraq. UN estimates that the number will reach one million if the conflict is spread to other cities. Already before ISIS started their attacks almost half a million people were forced to flee towards Anbar province in Iraq due to conflicts between the ethnic and religious groups.
– It is essential that the parties fully respect international humanitarian law on the protection of civilians and access for humanitarian aid. Humanitarian law also contains clear rules on the treatment of prisoners. If the reports of mass executions in Iraq are true then this could be classified as crimes against humanity, the Minister says.
The UN has launched an emergency appeal for Iraq of 105 million USD. So far, only 14 percent of the appeal is financed. The UN is now implementing new requirements and the extended appeal is expected shortly.
The Norwegian humanitarian aid will be channelled through the UN, the International Red Cross and NGOs, who have established presence in Iraq.