International agency Oxfam today called on governments meeting at today's Iraq donor conference in Washington to generously fund both urgent efforts to help victims of ongoing violence and longer-term support to the country's road to recovery.
The Donor Pledging Conference in Support of Iraq, co-hosted by the US, Canada, Germany and Japan, comes as Iraq faces a severe humanitarian crisis affecting over one third of the population.
The number of people needing help continues to rise, while funding to help them is not keeping pace with the need.
According to the UN, $861 million is urgently needed but so far only about 40% has been received.
Oxfam's Iraq Country Director Andres Gonzalez Rodriguez said, "Iraq is rapidly moving from crisis to catastrophe. Hundreds of thousands of people have already fled their homes and millions more face an uncertain future as the country struggles with violence, weak governance, and an economy in free fall. Wealthy countries need to generously fund the urgent effort to help those fleeing the violence. Without this short term help, there will be no long term for many. But people will also need longer term assistance to build a better future. Governments should begin to put together a package of measures to enable Iraq to address many of the deep-seated problems of poverty, inequality and community tensions."