UN: desperate Iraqis turning to Daesh for humanitarian aid
Displaced Yazidis from Iraq cross the Iraqi-Syrian border in summer 2014, when Daesh seized swathes of territory across the country. (AFP/Ahmad al-Rubaye)
Some Iraqi communities are increasingly reliant upon the Islamic State extremist group for humanitarian aid as the United Nations and its international donors struggle to keep up with the country's growing needs, a UN official warned Wednesday.
Briefing the UN Security Council, Jan Kubis, head of the UN mission to Iraq, said that, with 8.2 million Iraqis in urgent need of assistance, international funds were running low, leaving people to seek assistance from the extremist group.
"We are very worried by reports that communities and families are being forced to look to [the Islamic State] for life-saving assistance, even as UN-sponsored programs are closing for lack of funding," Kubis told the council.
"I urge the international community to do more to help desperately vulnerable Iraqi communities."
Kubis said that more than 3 million Iraqis have been displaced by the violent expansion of the Islamic State (also known by its Arabic acronym Daesh) in the country and another 1 million Iraqis are expected to be displaced in the coming months.
He warned that, since the extremist group began to gain ground last summer, Iraq "has been living through one of the most difficult phases of its modern history."