United Nations chief: More funding needed for Iraq programs

More than 200,000 civilians have fled IS-held west Mosul since last month, while the fighting has taken a devastating toll among the hundreds of thousands more still trapped in the battleground.

To meet the urgent needs of almost a million beneficiaries throughout the country, IOM-Iraq's 2017 Funding Appeal needs United States dollars 76.3 million, of which 38 percent (USD 28.8 million) is allocated for Mosul Crisis Response for the first six months of 2017.

HASSAN SHAM CAMP, Iraq (AP) - More funding is needed for U.N. programs in Iraq, the United Nations chief said Friday, and called for worldwide solidarity with the people of Mosul.

Antonio Guterres told reporters: "These people have suffered enormously and they go on suffering, and we need more solidarity from the global community".

"We need more solidarity from the worldwide community", he added. "That shows how limited our resources are", he said.

Displaced Iraqis in camps and critical shelter arrangements are extremely vulnerable, living in inadequate shelter that does not sufficiently protect them from the harsh winter and summer weather conditions in Iraq, IOM Iraq's Appeal explains, referring to over 50-degree temperature difference between the coldest months and the height of summer.

Whether or not real reconciliation occurs in Mosul and elsewhere will play a major role in determining whether Iraq moves towards stability or further violence.

Iraqi forces have won back control of most cities that fell to the group and the militants have been dislodged from almost three quarters of Mosul but remain in control of its centre.

As of 30 March, more than 367,000 individuals in total have been displaced from Mosul and surrounding areas, and 287,000 are now displaced, since the operation to retake the city from ISIL launched in October 2016.

Official comments from top generals, including Gen. Joseph Votel, appear to have moved totally beyond the question of the large number already killed, and are focusing their comments today on the many civilians the USA will kill in the days to come, with Votel insisting the U.S. "will try" to avoid endangering civilians with airstrikes, but that it is becoming "more and more difficult" during fighting in densely populated Mosul.

The U.N. and Iraqi authorities have been building more camps but struggle to accommodate new arrivals with two families sometimes having to share one tent.

IS overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but Iraqi forces backed by US-led air strikes have since regained much of the territory they lost.

Iraqi forces backed by USA air strikes have been battling to retake the country's second-largest city, which fell under Daesh control in 2014.

The fighting has inflicted heavy casualties on the Iraqi security forces, according to the head of US Central Command, General Joseph Votel.

  • Leroy Wright