Coalition Increases Humanitarian Aid to Iraq
Wednesday, 20th July 2016 at 4:00 pm
The federal government is to provide an additional $15 million in humanitarian aid to Iraq, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop has revealed on the eve of a visit to Washington to discuss the fight against ISIL.
Bishop said she would be representing Australia at the first joint counter-ISIL coalition foreign and defence ministers’ meetings in Washington on 21 July. She will be joined by the Minister for Defence, Marise Payne.
“As part of Australia’s ongoing commitment to peace and stability in Iraq I will announce that Australia will provide a further $15 million in humanitarian and stabilisation assistance,” Bishop said.
“This will include $5 million to clear landmines from civilian areas, $5 million for the World Food Program for urgent food relief, $3 million for UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and $2 million for the UN Iraq Humanitarian Pooled Fund.
“This additional assistance brings Australia’s humanitarian response to the Iraq crisis to $60 million since 2014. Since 2011, Australia has also provided $213 million in response to the Syrian crisis, and we have committed a further $220 million for humanitarian relief in Syria and neighbouring countries over the next three years.”
Bishop said the Washington meeting comes at a critical juncture as the counter-ISIL coalition intensifies the effort to defeat ISIL at its source.
“Discussions will focus on accelerating the effort to defeat ISIL in Iraq and Syria, as well as the need to tackle ISIL’s global networks,” she said.
“I will also take part in a panel discussion with leaders of the international security community on the importance of intelligence sharing and cooperation in the fight against ISIL.”