US to provide $1.2 billion to UN aid agencies in Iraq

Iraqi civilians escape ISIS-held city of Mosul. File photo

ARA News 

ERBIL – The US State Department said that the $1.2 billion raised in the pledging conference in support of Iraq will not go to the Kurdish or Iraqi government.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) officials have said they do not expect any of the money to go to Erbil, although the Iraqi Kurds host two-thirds of the 3 million refugees and IDPs in Iraq, and another 1 million is expected to come in the context of the Mosul offensive.

“I think there’s a fundamental misunderstanding in the statement itself. The money is not going to Baghdad. The money is going to the UN and to agencies – UN agencies that distribute, based on need, the amount – the proper amounts of humanitarian assistance,” said John Kirby, the US State Department spokesman.

“So those donations, and our contribution is among them, will go to the UN to distribute. And they do a remarkable job figuring out who needs to get it, where they are, and how much they need to get,” he said. 

Kirby added that the United States has “a complete trust and confidence in their [UN] ability to keep doing that”.

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