World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


UN Aid Official Calls For Urgent Help In Iraq

Escalating Violence In Iraq Prompts UN Aid Official To Call For Urgent Help From Leaders

New York, Oct 11 2006 3:00PM

The violence inside Iraq has “spiralled totally out of control,” the United Nations’ top humanitarian official said today as he appealed to the country’s religious, ethnic and other community leaders to do much more to try to stop the killings and massive displacement of people.

At least 315,000 people have fled their homes in the past seven or eight months, driven by military operations or sectarian violence that has escalated since a key Shiite shrine in Samarra was bombed in February, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland told a press briefing in Geneva.

Armed sectarian militias and death squads murder an average of 100 people every day, he added, noting that no segment of society was immune.

“These are police and their recruits, these are judges, these are lawyers, these are journalists, and there are increasingly women,” he said. “And the latter group is particularly targeted for so-called honour killings… Revenge killings seem now to be totally out of control.”

There are now thought to be 1.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) within Iraq, as well as an estimated 1.2 to 1.5 million Iraqi refugees in neighbouring countries. Each day as many as 2,000 people cross the border into Syria as the trend accelerates.

Mr. Egeland said the rising numbers of refugees means Iraq is experienced a serious ‘brain drain,’ with reports indicating some universities and hospitals in Baghdad have lost up to 80 per cent of their professional staff. In total, a third or more of Iraqi professionals are estimated to have left their country in recent years.

“Our appeal goes to everybody who can influence the violence, who can curb the violence. Religious leaders, ethnic leaders [and] cultural leaders have to see that this has spiralled totally out of control – Sunnis being pressured out of Shia areas, Shias out of Sunni areas. Exchanges of people in the tens of thousands are happening.

“That means that those who remain as minorities in areas with such ‘ethnic engineering,’ as some call it, become increasingly vulnerable. And you have then an accelerating trend of mass movement of people. It has to stop and all of those who can influence it must do their utmost to stop it.”

Mr. Egeland, who is also the UN’s Emergency Relief Coordinator, called for more funding – either from donors or from government budget surpluses – for the world body’s humanitarian programmes inside Iraq, which cover areas ranging from water and sanitation to food distribution.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Peace Deal ‘first Step’ In Resolving South Sudan Crisis

Children at a protection of civilians site in Juba, South Sudan, run by the UN Mission, perform at a special cultural event in March 2015. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine More>>

Yemen: Killing Or Maiming An Average Of Eight Children A Day

Killing or maiming an average of eight children a day, ‘brutal’ Yemen conflict must end – UNICEF More>>

Changing Habits/behaviours Key To Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy can be caused by factors such as negative beliefs based on myths, misinformation. Fear of needles can be a factor for refusal. Photo: PAHO/WHO More>>

Burundi: Ban Condemns Assassination Of Senior Army Officer

Refugees from Burundi in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Photo: OCHA/Naomi Frerotte United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the assassination Burundi’s former Army Chief of Staff, Colonel Jean Bikomagu, who ... More>>

Deadly Industrial Explosions In Northern China

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the injuries to scores of people as a result of deadly explosions in Tianjin, China. More>>

UN Urges Action To Tackle Deepening Refugee Crisis In Greece

A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after travelling in an inflatable raft from Turkey, near Skala Sykaminias, Greece. Photo: UNHCR/A. McConnell More>>

Probe Into Those Responsible For Chemical Weapons In Syria

The US Vessel Cape Ray, on which all 581 metric tonnes of a precursor chemical for sarin gas were removed from Syria and safely destroyed as the ship sailed in international waters in 2014. Photo: US Dept. of Transportation More>>

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news