UN declares Iraq 'Level 3 Emergency' to trigger more resources, speed up aid delivery
14 August 2014 – The United Nations has designated its highest level emergency for the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, citing the scale and complexity of the situation, which is impacting tens of thousands of people that have been forcefully displaced by the armed group, Islamic State (IS).
The "Level 3 Emergency" designation will "facilitate mobilization of additional resources in goods, funds and assets to ensure a more effective response to the humanitarian needs of populations affected by forced displacements," said the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq, Nickolay Mladenov.
UN officials are particularly concerned about the situation on Sinjar Mountain, where families remain trapped and the health conditions are quickly deteriorating.
Among them, Marzio Babille, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) Representative in Iraq, who also confirmed that the agency and other humanitarian actors are stepping up efforts to meet the growing needs of those who are being extracted from the Mountain, while helping a further 12,000 displaced Christians sheltering in the Kurdish capital, Erbil.
The town of Zakho near the Turkish border is hosting some 100,000 displaced Iraqis, mainly from Sinjar and Zumar, who fled in the previous week. The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said that the Dohuk Governorate, in which Zakho is located, is now hosting close to 400,000 displaced Iraqis, including Yazidis, Christians, Shabak, Kakai, Armenian and Turkman minorities – some of whom have endured repeated displacement.
UN World Food Programme (WFP) Country Director Jane Pearce and UNHCR Representative Shoko Shimozawa pledged to support the Dahuk Governorate in its considerable efforts to meet the needs of those displaced.
In addition, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) is working the local authorities and partners to distribute hygiene supplies and clothing to more than 1,300 pregnant women, and medical supplies to support 150,000 people.
There are only three other countries in the world that share a Level 3 emergency status: Central African Republic, South Sudan, and Syria.
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