The Irish Red Cross welcomes the announcement made by the Irish Government today for funding in emergency response to the devastating conflict and unfolding humanitarian catastrophe in Iraq, with a focus on minority groups and vulnerable women and children.
The Government will provide €250,000 to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and a further €250,000 to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to support their emergency response activities in Northern Iraq, where thousands have fled the advances of ISIS. These include up to 30,000 minority Yazidi civilians displaced in the vicinity of Mount Sinjar and hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons.
The funding provided to the ICRC will support provision of food and essential household items, as well as improving the availability of water and health care. The funding will also bring vital life saving assistance to hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians trapped by the fighting.
The Iraqi Red Crescent Society has been assisting those affected by the difficult security situation in Iraq, not only since the commencement of this latest crisis, but for many years now. The National Society continues to be one of the main organizations providing assistance to the displaced population.
John Roche, Head of the International department at the Irish Red Cross, says:
“Thousands of Iraqis are caught up in the fighting and with the numbers of those uprooted from their homes increasing on a daily basis, there is great concern for the many thousands trapped in the Sinjar Mountains. Temperatures are well over 44 degrees, and there is little water, shelter or food, making the conditions unbearable for those affected.”
The Irish Red Cross is currently appealing for donations to help provide critical assistance to those affected by the current crisis in Iraq. Anyone wishing to donate to the Irish Red Cross ‘Iraq Crisis Appeal’ can do so online here , or by phone: 1850 50 70 70; or by cheque made out to ‘Irish Red Cross’ and marked ‘Iraq Appeal’ and sent to Irish Red Cross, 16 Merrion Square, Dublin 2.