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IP/10/669

Brussels, Thursday 3 June 2010

The European Commission provides € 18 million in humanitarian aid to the victims of the Iraqi crisis

The European Commission has today finalised the decision to provide a total of €18 million in humanitarian aid for the victims of the Iraqi crisis. The funding will provide protection, water and sanitation, basic household items as well as access to basic health care and psychosocial support to the most vulnerable people inside Iraq and to Iraqi refugees in neighbouring countries, mainly in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.

The Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva, said: "After years of displacement or exile, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis still live in dire conditions both in Iraq and in neighbouring countries. Despite generous hospitality measures and while efforts are mobilised for the reconstruction of the country, the humanitarian situation of the most vulnerable among the Iraqi people should not be forgotten. This new package of aid is proof of the European Union solidarity and of its commitment to hold to the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality and non-discrimination".

Since 2003, the precarious security situation in Iraq has resulted in important displacements and a lack of basic protection for the civilian population. Although conditions have improved over the past two years, hardship prevails. The European Commission is therefore allocating around € 7 million to help those most in need in the country. The rest of this latest commitment will fund activities for refugees in neighbouring countries, particularly Syria, Jordan and Lebanon, where they live mainly in urban areas. The aid will fund protection, primary health care, psychosocial activities and basic household items. A further € 1 million will be kept as a reserve to be used depending on the evolution of the crisis.

The funding will be administered by the European Commission Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) and delivered through a number of partner organisations such as specialised UN agencies, the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement as well as international NGO's. Aid is channelled impartially, straight to victims, regardless of their race, ethnic group, religion, gender, age, nationality or political affiliation

Since 2003, the European Commission has provided almost €170 million in humanitarian aid to help the victims of the Iraqi crisis inside Iraq and in neighbouring countries.

For More info on Commission's humanitarian aid:

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm


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