News / Middle East

EU Increases Aid to Displaced Iraqis

FILE - In this Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014 file photo, displaced Iraqis from the Yazidi community settle at a camp at Derike, Syria.
FILE - In this Sunday, Aug. 10, 2014 file photo, displaced Iraqis from the Yazidi community settle at a camp at Derike, Syria.
Lisa Bryant

The European Union announced Tuesday it is increasing humanitarian assistance to Iraqis trapped by the fighting in their homeland, but pressure is mounting on Brussels to do more. France and Italy are calling for an emergency EU meeting to consider providing military assistance to Kurds fighting Islamist extremists in Iraq.

European Humanitarian Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva says Brussels will provide an extra $6.7 million in humanitarian aid for people trapped by the latest Jihadist offensive in northern Iraq. It brings total EU humanitarian aid for Iraq this year to nearly 22.7 million dollars.  

"The new funding is to help hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Iraqis, including minority groups, that have been besieged in the mountains of Sinjar," Georgieva said. "We will be providing emergency assistance to displaced populations but also to very vulnerable host communities - poor communities that have to cope with this inflow of internally displaced people."  

The new funds come as Washington remains prepared to carry out more airstrikes against Islamic State militants who have laid siege on Mount Sinjar, and threaten to advance on the Kurdish capital of Irbil. European representatives met Tuesday to discuss Iraq and other crisis-torn countries.

France and Italy now want EU foreign ministers to return from their vacations for an emergency meeting to take those talks to a higher level. At issue: whether to help arm Kurdish soldiers fighting militants.  

Interviewed on France-Info radio, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said there is a power imbalance between well-armed ISIS militants and what he called courageous but poorly equipped Kurdish soldiers.

Iraq is one of several major emergencies, including Syria, Gaza, the Central African Republic and South Sudan, that is testing the global humanitarian response. When it comes to Iraq, Commissioner Georgieva described immense challenges accessing desperate people in ISIS-controlled areas.  

"The spread of extremism around the world - not just in Iraq - has meant more and more restrictions to access," Georgieva said. "The world is walking backwards on its main achievements after the two world wars, which was respect for humanity. Even in the worst of circumstances, let help get to those who need it. And we need to reverse this trend."
 
France and Britain have already airdropped food and humanitarian supplies to besieged people in northern Iraq. French Foreign Minister Fabius says another 20 tons of food is on its way. 

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More