WASHINGTON, D.C. – New humanitarian assistance for Iraq from the United States was announced recently, totaling millions of dollars, as ISI was chased from the major city of Fallujah.
The U.S. State Department said on June 21 that “in light of recent events in Iraq, and in response to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ recent appeals for emergency needs in Fallujah, the United States is announcing an additional $20 million in humanitarian aid to UNHCR’s Iraq response. This will be part of a larger package of humanitarian assistance that will be announced later this year.”
Officials say more than 3.3 million Iraqis have been internally displaced since 2014 and more are expected to flee in the coming days and weeks. The UN estimates that about 85,000 people have already fled Fallujah.
As the U.S. and its partner, the Iraqi Security Force (ISF) have battled ISIS terrorists, civilians have felt much of the brunt of the fighting.
“The operation in Fallujah has been a significant challenge for the ISF and for the coalition. It will not be the last,” said Secretary of Defense Ash Carter. “Hard fighting remains ahead, as does the vital task of caring for the residents of Fallujah displaced by ISIL’s violence and beginning to rebuild the city so that its people may safely return. It is also essential to complete the investigations the government of Iraq has launched to address alleged abuses of civilians.”
The United Nations has identified camp coordination and camp management, as well as protection, as its most urgent priorities in the Fallujah response. Other immediate needs include water and sanitation, shelter, and food. Humanitarian agencies are responding to the crisis, but say more funding is urgently needed. The U.S. urged other governments to contribute generously to the UN’s Iraq appeals.