World / Middle East

1.6 million people displaced in Iraq: UN

(Xinhua) Updated: 2014-08-30 08:18

UNITED NATIONS - The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that more than 1.6 million people in Iraq have been displaced since the start of the year, a UN spokesman said here on Friday.

"It is estimated that over 600,000 people were displaced in August alone," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said at a daily news briefing, adding that the internally displaced people were living in over 1,500 locations across the country, often in extremely dire conditions.

The increase was due to new violence in various parts of the country, particularly Ninewa, Diyala and Anbar provinces, he said.

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and its partners have conducted assessments for nearly 190,000 people since February, Dujarric said.

Almost 6,000 have been approved for cash assistance; free legal assistance has been provided to about 9,000; and more than 3,000 have been referred for services and assistance, according to the agency.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is hoping to deliver medicines and supplies to Al Alam district, in Salah Aldin Governorate. The shipment will benefit some 15,000 people for one month.

The surge in violence between armed groups and government forces has left hundreds of thousands of people in need of assistance in Iraq.

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