The UN High Commission on Refugees says the upcoming winter threatens to worsen conditions for around half a million displaced Iraqis receiving UN aid in August. A statement:
Time is now of the essence in providing support to Iraq’s displaced. Winter is approaching fast, with snow, rain and muddy conditions. In less than three months from now, daily temperatures will average less than ten degrees Celsius, and the rains will begin.
The agency says it has provided more than 100,000 mattresses, 10,000 family tents, and 40,000 jerry cans for water as well as tens of thousands of other essential items for some of the estimated 850,000 people who have fled into the northern Kurdistan region. It will send another 10 aid flights into Erbil over the next few days to supply 40,000 blankets, 10,000 kitchen sets, and almost 18,000 plastic tarpaulins. However the accommodation situation remains acute and the agency needs extra financial support:
UNHCR, as a part of the UN humanitarian relief effort, will be launching an appeal for an additional US$350 million to help meet these needs. The main focus will be on providing life-saving protection services and assistance to respond to the most urgent basic needs of displaced Iraqis, including winterization support.