UN humanitarian chief concerned over Iraq situation

Valerie Amos, UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, Wednesday voiced deep concern over the humanitarian situation in Iraq where more than 1.2 million people have fled their homes to avoid the ongoing conflicts.

Geneva: Valerie Amos, UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, Wednesday voiced deep concern over the humanitarian situation in Iraq where more than 1.2 million people have fled their homes to avoid the ongoing conflicts.

"As the security situation continues to worsen, I am extremely worried about the families urgently in need of water, food, shelter, healthcare, sanitation and protection from violence," she said in a statement.

She stressed that children were especially vulnerable to outbreaks of disease and malnutrition, made worse by poor conditions and searing summer temperatures, Xinhua reported.

She said the UN and partners are doing their best to support the humanitarian response despite the continued fighting in some areas and ongoing security constraints.

Since January this year, more than 560,000 people affected by fighting in Anbar province of the country have been helped by the UN and its partners, she noted.

However, the UN humanitarian chief said "we have struggled to raise the funds required".

She noted the announcement by the government of Saudi Arabia for an exceptionally generous contribution of $500 million of humanitarian aid for Iraqis in need as was extremely timely.

She said it would enable the UN humanitarian agencies to rapidly scale up their efforts to prevent the spread of disease, support displaced families with clean water, food and vital supplies, provide children with vital nutrition supplements and other critical support.

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