UN emergency fund releases USD 15 mln to support people fleeing violence in Fallujah

NEW YORK, June 20 (KUNA) — UN humanitarian chief released USD 15 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to provide urgent life-saving assistance for people affected by the recent fighting and military operations in Fallujah, Iraq.
Since last month, more than 85,000 people have been forced to flee the city, displacing families from their homes, communities and livelihoods, UN office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported on Monday. “Those remaining in the city face dire shortages of food, medicine, electricity and safe drinking water,” it confirmed.
Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, Lise Grande warned that families who have managed to flee Fallujah have escaped with nothing, affirming their need for everything.
According to OCHAآ’s report, Grande from the ground confirmed that humanitarian partners are working around the clock to provide shelter, water, health care, household kits and specialized support for the victims of gender and sexual-based violence. “This CERF grant will allow us to rapidly scale up our efforts, so it could not be more timely,” she added.
On his part, the UN Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen Oآ’Brien released the amount of USD 15 million, calling for donors to immediately support the humanitarian response and leverage the CERF allocation with additional resources to effectively address the growing humanitarian needs throughout Iraq.
Oآ’Brien stressed that “people escaping Fallujah are in desperate need of assistance now, this minute. We must act fast before this situation becomes a humanitarian catastrophe. These funds are time critical; however they only offer a small portion of what is urgently needed.” The UN Humanitarian Response Plan in Iraq has called for USD 861 million to address the needs of people affected by the current crisis. To date this appeal is only 36 percent funded. In addition a further USD 65 million will be needed to respond to the current situation in Fallujah. (end) mao.bs