Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Hollande depicted as Hitler

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Boko Haram crisis: Militants forced from north eastern Nigerian town

Read more

REPORTERS

Syria: Wresting control of Kobani from IS group

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

A who's who of the 'Bettencourt trial'

Read more

FOCUS

Golan Heights on edge...

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Eugene Kaspersky: Cyber attacks on critical infrastructure 'just a question of time'

Read more

#THE 51%

Equality in the workplace: Bridging the gender pay gap

Read more

ENCORE!

The culture stars trying to save the world

Read more

#TECH 24

Technology helping visually impaired people

Read more

Middle East

UN launches major aid operation in northern Iraq

© Ahmad Al-Rubaye, AFP I Iraqi Yazidi refugees flee to wartorn Syria.

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2014-08-19

The United Nations refugee agency said on Tuesday it was launching a major aid operation to get supplies to more than half a million people displaced by fighting in northern Iraq.

Hundreds of thousands have fled their homes since fighters led by the militant Islamic State group swept through much of the north and west of Iraq in June, threatening to break up the country.

A four-day airlift of tents and other goods will begin on Wednesday to Arbil, Iraq from Aqaba in Jordan, followed by road convoys from Turkey and Jordan and sea shipments from Dubai via Iran over the next 10 days, said UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards.

“This is a very, very significant aid push and certainly one of the largest I can recall in quite a while,” he told a news briefing in Geneva. “This is a major humanitarian crisis and disaster.”

The UNHCR estimates that a total of 1.2 million have fled their homes across Iraq this year.

About 200,000 of them have settled in Iraq’s Kurdistan region since August when the city of Sinjar and neighbouring areas were seized by Islamic State, according to UNHCR.

At least 11,000 people from the Yazidi minority have taken shelter inside Iraq’s war-torn neighbour Syria, and about 300 more are crossing the Peshkabour border every day, it said.

“The fact that you see people fleeing via Syria to safety speaks very much to how desperate the situation is, particularly in Sinjar in the last few days,” Edwards said.

The initial aid shipments will contain 3,300 tents and 20,000 plastic sheets for shelter, 18,500 kitchen sets and 16,500 jerry cans, he added. They were being supported by Saudi Arabia, Britain, the United States and other donors.

(REUTERS)
 

Date created : 2014-08-19

  • IRAQ

    Exclusive: Kurdish forces fight to protect Yazidis fleeing IS

    Read more

  • IRAQ

    Dozens of Yazidis ‘massacred’ in northern Iraq

    Read more

  • EUROPEAN UNION

    EU ministers vow to aid Iraq in fight against ISIS militants

    Read more

COMMENT(S)