Press release

UK aid arrives for displaced Iraqis across northern Iraq

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Britain has delivered thousands of kitchen sets to go to Iraqis in refugee camps in northern Iraq, International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced today.

Two Airbus flights landed in Erbil this morning carrying UK aid supplies that will now be distributed by UN agencies to people cut off from their homes in camps across the Dahuk region of northern Iraq.

There are approximately half a million displaced people in Dahuk - 200,000 since the beginning of August. Those arriving at camps have travelled for days without food and water in 50 degree temperatures.

The two deliveries contain nearly 8,000 kitchen sets which include cutlery, cooking pots, plates, frying pans, cups and wooden spoons. The sets will mean almost 40,000 people, who currently have to queue at makeshift canteens, will be able to cook for themselves and feed their families.

Justine Greening said:

Displaced Iraqi people who have managed to escape Mount Sinjar have walked many miles in searing heat, and now find themselves in camps cut off from their homes and without any possessions.

They have shown immense courage to get off the mountain and the UK is committed to giving them support. These kitchen sets will enable displaced people to feed themselves and their families.

One flight set off from Dubai, where the Department for International Development has its main aid stockpile. Another departed from the UK’s East Midlands Airport carrying supplies from DFID’s aid warehouse in Kemble in Gloucestershire.

These hubs store life-saving support and allow the UK to deploy vital aid at very short notice to people who desperately need it.

Goods stored here include tents, plastic sheeting, buckets, blankets and kitchen sets and there are processes in place to quickly restock supplies as soon as they are distributed.

The UK has so far committed £13 million in new assistance in response to the crisis in Iraq.

In addition to today’s aid delivery, the RAF has made seven successful air drops of UK aid over Mount Sinjar including water containers, solar lamps and shelter kits.

See latest updates on the UK government’s response to the Iraq crisis

Notes to editors

  1. In addition to the £5 million aid for Iraq announced in June, the £8 million package announced by Justine Greening on 8 August has provided:
  • £2 million of emergency humanitarian supplies for 75,000 people, including aid which has been air dropped to help those trapped in the Sinjar Mountains
  • £3 million of fast-tracked funding that has gone to charities and NGOs who are already on the ground and helping displaced people in northern Iraq
  • £2.5 million of support for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to provide immediate medical and humanitarian assistance
  • a further £500,000 that will ensure Kurdish and UN systems are able to coordinate and respond to humanitarian needs in the region.
  1. The seven air drops for those trapped on Mount Sinjar have provided over 80 tonnes of aid, including 9,420 water purification containers, 1,056 solar lanterns, and 1,008 shelter kits. This was dropped as follows:
  • Saturday 9 August: 1,200 reusable water containers, providing 6,000 litres in total, and 240 solar lanterns that can also be used to recharge mobile phones
  • Monday 11 August: 3,180 reusable water purification containers filled with clean water (15,900 litres of water in total) and 816 solar lamps
  • Tuesday 12 August: 2,640 reusable water purification containers filled with clean water (13,200 litres of water in total) and 528 shelter kits to provide shade in temperatures of 50°C
  • Wednesday 13 August: 2,400 reusable water purification containers filled with clean water (13,200 litres of water in total) and 480 shelter kits

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