The United Nations is calling for US$173.1 million to address the immediate needs of 1.26 million people across Iraq in need of assistance over winter.
“More resources are urgently needed,” Jacqueline Badcock, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq, said. “Winter is here and in many parts of the country displaced populations are already being hit with heavy rains, winds, storms and low temperatures.”
Since January 2014, 1.9 million people have been displaced across Iraq, many fleeing with little more than the clothes on their backs.
Close to 50 per cent of the displaced have found refuge in the high altitude areas of Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I), where temperatures in the winter can often drop below zero.
Hundreds of thousands have been forced to shelter in unfinished buildings, collective centres, public buildings, including schools, or informal settlements, as well as in the open air.
An estimated 516,000 Iraqis are in need of immediate shelter support this winter, including weather-appropriate tents, as well as warm clothing, food, heating and cooking fuel, and health services.
An estimated 1.1 million children will require additional care during the winter months due to acute respiratory infections and chronic diseases, and up to 50 per cent of those displaced will need some form of medical attention.
“Warm winter clothes and shoes for a minimum of 450,000 people, including 225,000 children, are urgently needed,” Badcock said.
Of the $173.1 million, $70.2 million is needed for food, followed by shelter and related items ($46.3 million); basic household items ($25 million); health services ($23.2 million); clothing ($7.5 million); and water and sanitation ($0.9 million)
Food assistance could abruptly stop after January 2015. “Unless funds are forthcoming, the 1.8 million people currently being targeted for food assistance will not get the assistance they need,” Badcock said.
Lifesaving assistance over the winter is a key component of the revised Strategic Response Plan (SRP), a $2.2 billion appeal aimed to address the humanitarian and protection needs of some 5.2 million Iraqis due to ongoing violence and insecurity through December 2015.
(UN image via Shutterstock)