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Iraq: Need for aid to refugees now at critical level says UN

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Iraq: Need for aid to refugees now at critical level says UN


Estimates of overall numbers vary and the depth of the problem of refugees in Iraq remains unclear but the need for humanitarian aid is critical.

Thousands have left the refuge of Mount Sinjar.The problem has merely shifted to new areas.

The United Nations has declared a level three emergency L3 as it’s called, the most critical.

“The main reason for L3 emergency for Iraq is that the scope and breadth of the emergency now exceeds the capacity of the in-country UN system and partners to respond,” explained Brendan McDonald, Acting head of Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Thousands of displaced persons are now reliant on international aid while from some politicians there is a contrast in the tone of urgency after Wednesday’s mission to Mount Sinjar.

UK helicopters based in Cyprus have been deployed in aid drops prompting a positive note.

“Well there does seem to be some good news and that is that the American-led scouting operation found fewer people on the mountainside than expected. Also we see that the UK aid drops have made a difference and got through to people,” David Cameron, British Prime Minister told reporters.

Aid and air strikes will be the combination in the coming days. From Washington President Barack Obama said the US was, “making progress carrying out targeted military operations,” and paid tribute to US forces for “breaking the siege” on Mount Sinjar.

“We do not expect there to be an additional operation to evacuate people off the mountain and it is unlikely we’re going to need to continue humanitarian air drops on the mountain,” said the president.

Over 400,000 people displaced by the conflict have already received aid since mid June say officials and hundreds are still arriving at refugee camps in the autonomous Iraqi Kurdish region in desperate need of help.

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