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Over 1.5 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance in Iraq and the number is set to increase says international humanitarian and development network ACT Alliance, as the Islamic State continues its encroachment in the region.
Since the group’s violent take-over of large swaths of land in northern and western Iraq, the country according to OCHA is now contending with one of the largest internal displacements in the world.
“This is starting to become a runaway crisis, and the world must rise up quickly to save the lives of the people who have fallen victims to dangerously armed militant groups,” said John Nduna, ACT General Secretary.
ACT Alliance members, which are on the ground providing humanitarian aid to affected populations, are calling for continued life-saving aid as the conflict intensifies.
Through the ACT Alliance appeal the alliance is providing shelter, food, water, non-food items, hygiene kits, and carrying out protection initiatives particularly for women and children.
The alliance is also calling for human rights and international humanitarian law to be respected, and is urging governments and intergovernmental bodies to find a lasting solution to the crisis and to identify proactive actions to respond to early signs of conflicts.
“There are harrowing stories of decimation of minorities,” said Nduna. “Humanitarian access is critical at this time to ensure that assistance reaches those who need it most, and to ensure those responding can continuously assess the needs and respond accordingly.”
“We cannot underestimate the need for protection of civilians especially women, children, the elderly, those living with disabilities, and minority populations,” he continued. “Deactivation of any humanitarian response and corridors that bring humanitarian aid to displaced populations would only hurt the people who are already suffering.”
ACT Alliance is currently involved in consultations with other international faith-based organisations in a bid to scale up global level humanitarian solidarity, advocacy and assistance to the affected population.