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NZ provides further aid to Iraq

NZ provides further aid to Iraq

Foreign Minister Murray McCully today announced that New Zealand will provide $500,000 to support humanitarian efforts by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Iraq.

“The situation in Iraq has worsened dramatically since the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) began their offensive,” Mr McCully says.

“ISIL’s actions deserve the strongest condemnation. We have been appalled by the loss of life, displacement of civilians and the widespread abuses of human rights.

“It is estimated that around 17 million people, or half the population of Iraq, are affected by the ongoing violence, and more than a million people have been forced to leave their homes in the last two months alone.

“UNHCR are providing shelter and emergency relief items to refugees and internally displaced people.

“The funding announced today is in addition to the $500,000 New Zealand provided to UNHCR in June and brings our total contribution to the current crisis in Iraq to $1 million.

“This recognises the severity of the conditions Iraqi refugees face and the deteriorating security situation.”

Meanwhile, Mr McCully says that New Zealand welcomes recent progress made in forming a new government following the election in April.

“New Zealand supports the democratic process in Iraq. We hope that the newly nominated Prime Minister, Dr Haider Al Abadi, can now move to form a government that will address the significant internal challenges that the country is facing,” Mr McCully says.

ends

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