Washington to host Iraq donor conference amid humanitarian crisis

Washington to host Iraq donor conference amid humanitarian crisis
A number of countries are set to gather to address Iraq's bleak humanitarian situation, in which over 10 million people are currently in need of assistance.
2 min read
23 June, 2016
Displaced Iraqi children carry supplies delivered to their camp in Khaldiyeh [AFP]

The United States announced on Wednesday that it will be co-hosting a donors conference in Washington to help raise funds for Iraqi civilians.

Set for July 20, the conference will be jointly held by the US along with Canada, Germany and Japan to address the humanitarian situation that has deteriorated following fighting between the Islamic State group and forces loyal to the Iraqi government in Baghdad.

This effort will aim to bolster the United Nations' drive to house, feed and treat Iraq's displaced peoples.

"Due to the conflict and upheaval since January 2014, more than 3.4 million people are now displaced throughout Iraq and more than half are children," the State Department said in a statement. "Across the country, over 10 million people are in urgent need of lifesaving humanitarian assistance."

According to the statement, the UN humanitarian response plan calls for $861 million, however at present is only one-third funded.

"Over the coming months, humanitarian costs could climb to over $2 billion as potentially a million people are displaced from Mosul as military operations liberate Iraq's second-largest city" from the IS group, it added.

During the course of Baghdad's advances against the IS group, millions of civilians have fled their homes in order to escape the violence.

Reports have emerged of atrocities having been committed by both sides, with medical sources having recently reported the discovery 20 decapitated bodies in the city of Fallujah.

In response to allegations of human rights abuses against civilians carried out by militias and the Iraqi army alike, Human Rights Watch said the Fallujah campaign was "a test for the government's ability to hold abusive forces accountable".