Iraqis may be forced to seek help from ISIL
The UN warns that a lack of funds may force some Iraqi people to turn to the ISIL terrorist group for assistance.
“We are very worried by reports that communities and families are being forced to look to [ISIL] for life-saving assistance, even as UN-sponsored programs are closing for lack of funding,” Jan Kubis, head of the UN mission to Iraq, told a briefing at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Wednesday.
Kubis said that around 8.2 million Iraqis were in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, roughly one in four Iraqis.
“I urge the international community to do more to help desperately vulnerable Iraqi communities,” he added.
Kubis further explained that more than 3 million Iraqis have been displaced by the violent expansion of the ISIL Takfiri group in the country. He also warned that another 1 million Iraqis are expected to be displaced in the coming months.
Iraq “has been living through one of the most difficult phases of its modern history” since the terrorist group began to gain ground last summer, Kubis mentioned.
According to Kubis, an offensive by government forces and an air campaign by a US-led coalition have “yet to significantly change the situation on the ground.”
While the city of Tikrit in central Iraq was liberated in March, the western provincial capital of Ramadi fell to the extremists in May, he noted.
“The human cost of the conflict remains far too high,” Kubis stressed.
According to a UN report last week, nearly 15,000 civilians have been killed and another 30,000 injured since March 2014.
In addition, close to 300,000 refugees have sought safety in Iraq, most fleeing across the border from Syria where the ISIL also controls a large swath of the country, the top UN envoy also stated.
Kubis warned that close to 80 health facilities and scores of life-saving programs were scheduled to shut down unless additional funds from donor countries are received.
The UN revealed earlier this week that only 8 percent of its appeal in June for $497 million to cover the costs of shelter, food, water and other aid over the next six months had been funded so far
ISIL started its campaign of terror in Iraq in early June 2014. The heavily-armed militants took control of the northern city of Mosul before sweeping through parts of the country’s western region.