Germany is releasing 20 million euros of additional funding for humanitarian assistance to help ease the suffering of people in Iraq. These funds will be available immediately and will be used mainly to provide winter relief to refugees and internally displaced persons.
Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement in Berlin (21 October):
The large numbers of refugees in Iraq are in a dramatic humanitarian situation. Thinking of the upcoming winter makes it clear that we have to significantly step up our efforts.
We are expanding our humanitarian assistance, providing the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and German Agro Action with a total of 20 million euros for winter relief measures.
In addition to UNHCR setting up further refugee camps, these measures include winterproofing existing accommodation and providing suitable tents, heaters, mattresses, thermal blankets and winter clothes. Time is of the essence if we are to protect people in northern Iraq from the mercy of the elements.
There are currently around 1.8 million internally displaced persons in Iraq, half of them in Kurdistan-Iraq. They are staying in schools, unfinished buildings and even outdoors and are in dire need of housing for the winter.
This year, the Federal Foreign Office has made available some 45 million euros for humanitarian assistance in Iraq, both to support internally displaced Iraqis and refugees from Syria. These projects are being implemented together with the United Nations, the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movements as well as non-governmental organisations with a humanitarian background. Alongside winter relief, these projects include measures to supply refugee camps with drinking water and sanitation and to provide food aid and basic health care.