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

 

Gordon Campbell: On How Obama’s Supreme Court Choice Says Everything (Bad) About His Presidency

Nothing has epitomised the presidency of Barack Obama quite like his Supreme Court nominees. Time and again, Republican presidents will blithely nominate right wing ideological extremists (Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas) who only sometimes misfire and turn out to be liberals in disguise (David Souter). Yet Obama has consistently skipped over the judicially qualified liberals and gone for a succession of centrists... More>>

ALSO:

Turkey: UN Secretary-General On The Terrorist Bombing In Ankara

The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack in Ankara earlier today. According to the latest reports, the explosion in the Kizilay district killed and wounded dozens of people. More>>

ALSO:

Five Years On: Fukushima And New Zealand

Science Media Centre: It was the worst nuclear event since Chernobyl. In the wake of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, a crippled Japanese nuclear powerplant went into meltdown, and the world watched as emergency workers scrambled to shut down and contain the reactors. More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF: 1 In 3 Syrian Children Has Grown Up Knowing Only Crisis

An estimated 3.7 million Syrian children – 1 in 3 of all Syrian children - have been born since the conflict began five years ago, their lives shaped by violence, fear and displacement, according to a UNICEF report. This figure includes more than 151,000 children born as refugees since 2011. More>>

ALSO:

Franklin Lamb: Syria’s Truce Bodes Well For Salvaging Our Cultural Heritage

The tentative cessation of hostilities in Syria, which came into effect on 2/28/2016, brokered by Washington and Moscow, is only in its second week... It is well documented that there have been daily incidents of artillery shelling, airstrikes and clashes. Yet, for the nearly 12 million displaced civilians, half of Syria’s population, it’s a much welcomed respite. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Rubio’s Last Stand (And Sleater-Kinney)

Well, it certainly was entertaining to watch Rubio succeed in getting under Donald Trump’s skin the other day, in the last debate before tomorrow’s Super Tuesday multi-state sweepstakes... The real killer for Rubio was that the most recent poll from Florida which shows him losing his home state to Trump by a huge margin in the primary due on March 15. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news