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UN: 700,000 Iraqis need urgent assistance

Iraqis who left their homes due to clashes between Iraqi forces and Daesh, arrive to Iraqi army controlled Maghrib neighbourhood in Mosul, Iraq on May 16, 2017 [Yunus Keleş / Anadolu Agency]

Some 700,000 Iraqis are in need for urgent assistance across the country, the UN’s  International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said in a statement yesterday.

“The number of internally displaced Iraqis is currently more than 2.3 million, and those who have returned to their place of origin over 3.5 million,” the organisation said.

The IOM appealed for $26.7 million to provide for the “urgent needs of more than 700,000 Iraqis across the country – returnees, host community members and internally displaced persons (IDPs), especially those remaining in camps or informal settings, and those who may experience secondary displacement.”

According to IOM Iraq’s Displacement Tracking Matrix, “an estimated 2,317,698 people continue to be displaced, and 3,511,602 people have returned since the beginning of the conflict in January 2014.”

Read: Iraq lost 40% of its agricultural production

The press release also said: “Returns of displaced people to their area of origin currently exceed 100,000 per month.”

“Of the 2.3 million displaced, more than 631,000 live in camps, and nearly 260,000 live in critical shelter arrangements, such as informal settlements, unfinished buildings, religious and school buildings.”

Across the country, Iraqis continue to be affected by the impact of the recent conflict, and require immediate support

said IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Gerard Waite.

He added: “The requested funding is essential to provide continued humanitarian assistance for the displaced, and to support returnees to restore social, health, housing and community infrastructure so they are able to restart their lives.”

Read: Iraq, UN launch joint plan to return 1 million displaced persons to their homes in 2018

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