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UNICEF Steps up Humanitarian Response in Northern Iraq

ERBIL, Iraq 12 August, 2014 – As the humanitarian crisis continues to unfold in Iraq, UNICEF and other humanitarian actors are stepping up efforts to meet the urgent needs of up to 30,000 members of the ethnic Yazidi minority who are being extracted from Sinjar Mountain, in addition to helping meet the needs of a further 12,000 displaced Christians who are now sheltering in the Kurdish capital, Erbil.

“UNICEF remains extremely concerned about the survival and fate of thousands of children trapped in the Sinjar mountains, as well as those who have reached a safe haven,” said Dr. Marzio Babille, UNICEF Iraq Representative. “We are working around the clock to deliver aid to the increasing number of people who have been brought off the mountains, but who now suffer from acute dehydration, exposure, malnourishment and shock.”

In response, UNICEF has moved 30 truckloads of relief supplies closer to areas where displaced people are arriving, in addition to conducting distribution of life-saving aid throughout Dohuk Governorate.

Among supplies delivered over the last 24 hours have been 1,100 cartons of emergency food rations, 500 cartons of high-protein food supplements, 40 boxes of oral rehydration solution, and 15 climatized 72-square meter wide tents. In all, the response plan for the next 48 hours will total nearly 60 tonnes of emergency aid.

Since August 2nd, UNICEF and partners (ACTED, DRC, Mercy Corps, NRC and Save the Children) have distributed humanitarian aid to 73,452 children, women and their families in 20 locations throughout Dohuk Governorate alone. These critical deliveries have included 552,000 bottles of water, more than 44,000 packs of emergency food rations, 10,000 buckets, 10,000 bars of soap, 9,300 hygiene kits, 5,500 jerry cans, 1,500 blankets, and 1,000 baby hygiene kits.

In Erbil, where nearly 12,000 people have sought refuge from violence, UNICEF has distributed 78,000 bottles of water and installed three water storage tanks. UNICEF staff are also monitoring the situation of children separated from their families and for any grave violations of child rights. In close collaboration with the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop, UNICEF is helping establish a reception and support centre for displaced families.


About UNICEF Iraq

UNICEF has been in Iraq since 1983 working and supporting the Government of Iraq to ensure Iraqi children survive and realize their full potential. Maintaining its comparative advantage in health, nutrition, education, water and sanitation, child protection and social policy, UNICEF supports the development of child friendly policies, building the capacity of institutions that deliver essential services to children and convening all duty bearers to realize the full rights of Iraqi children. Via a network of staff and partners, UNICEF’s programmes improve basic health services, safeguard quality education, develop water and sanitation systems, protect children from abuse, violence, and exploitation, and meet the needs of the most deprived and vulnerable. For more information about UNICEF and its work for the children of Iraq, please follow us on Twitter and Facebook.


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do.  Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. 

For more information please contact:

Jeffrey Bates, Chief of Communication, UNICEF Iraq jbates@unicef.org, +964 780 196 4524
Karim Elkorany, External Relations Officer, UNICEF Iraq kelkorany@unicef.org +964 780 925 8542




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