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Senior UN Officials Urge Humanitarian Aid for Iraq

Brussels, June 6 (RHC)-- Senior officials of the United Nations have called for humanitarian aid for Iraq, warning that if the international community fails to provide the crisis-hit country with assistance, a "catastrophe" will happen there.

The UN and its NGO partners have launched the Humanitarian Response Plan for Iraq, appealing donors for USD $498 million to provide immediate needs such as shelter, food, water and other life-saving services over the coming six months for as many as 5.6 million Iraqis.

UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq Lisa Grande has called for helping Iraq at the European Parliament in the Belgian capital, Brussels, saying the amount is needed to meet the immediate needs of the Iraqis.

"Humanitarian partners have been doing everything they can to help. But more than 50 percent of the operation will be shut down or cut back if money is not received immediately," Grande said.

According to the UN, around 2.9 million Iraqis have been forced to leave their homes due to the crisis since January 2014. It also says that the lack of funds has caused the closure of 77 frontline health clinics and cut the food ration of over a million Iraqi people affected by violence in the country.

Discussing the dire situation in Iraq and urging support for the country, Kang Kyung-wha, the UN deputy head of humanitarian affairs, said: "All segments of Iraqi society -- Yazidis, Christians, Shabak, Turkmen, Shias, Sunnis and Kurds -- have been affected by the violence."

"Families have had to move several times to stay one step ahead of the horrific violence sweeping across whole regions of the country. Others do not know where they can find safety," she added.

Edited by Ivan Martínez
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