Government of Canada

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

www.international.gc.ca

Canada provides humanitarian assistance for stability in Iraq

June 11, 2013

OTTAWA — More than two years after the general elections, the situation in Iraq remains volatile. The relationship between the central government and the Kurdistan regional government remains strained. Tens of thousands of refugees and displaced persons in Iraq are in need of food, water, shelter, and basic healthcare.

Today, Lois Brown, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation, on behalf of the Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of International Cooperation, attended a roundtable with Tom Garrett, Vice President, Programs, International Republican Institute, a non-partisan organization dedicated to advancing democracy worldwide. At the roundtable PS Brown announced life-saving humanitarian assistance to improve livelihoods and provide protection for crisis-affected people in Iraq.

Today's roundtable was hosted by Chris Alexander, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of National Defence, and Deepak Obhrai, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. Members of Parliament Dean Allison, Rick Norlock and Nina Grewal, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bob Dechert, and Senator Janis Johnson were also in attendance. The discussion centred around the state of democracy and governance issues in the Middle East.

"Canada wants to see the Iraqi people move toward a more stable, secure, and prosperous future," said PS Brown. "This humanitarian assistance will help provide protection and essential items such as food, shelter, water, and basic health services to people living in areas prone to violence."

The humanitarian crisis in Iraq has spilled over its borders, and there are approximately 1.3 million Iraqi refugees in twelve countries in the region, including Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, Iran, and the Gulf states. Iraq needs international assistance to meet the protection and basic needs of tens of thousands of refugees in the country.

"Canada is helping to bring stability to violence-affected people in Iraq. Our government is working with trusted multilateral partners to deliver support to those in need," said Minister Fantino. "Canada's support will help to improve health, living conditions and protection for refugees and displaced people, among others."

Canada provides humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable people facing natural disasters and conflict. Economic Action Plan 2013 affirms Canada's commitment to providing humanitarian assistance. The new Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development will maintain the mandate of poverty alleviation and humanitarian assistance, and help the Government of Canada achieve greater efficiency, accountability, and focus to continue to improve the lives of people in need around the world.

— 30 —

For more information, media should contact:

Daniel Bezalel Richardsen
Press Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation
Telephone: 819-953-6238
Email: danielbezalel.richardsen@acdi-cida.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
Telephone: 819-953-6534
Email: media@acdi-cida.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter: @CIDA_CA

Backgrounder

Canada will provide $2 million in support to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). This support will contribute to improved health, living conditions, and protection for refugees and internally-displaced people as follows:

  • shelter and basic infrastructure for some 33,900 internally displaced persons, refugees, and returnees;
  • assistance to the government to register a total of some 100,000 stateless people and refugees in camps and urban settlements;
  • registration of some 3,000 residents of Camp New Iraq; and
  • third-country resettlement of as many as 1,500 Camp New Iraq residents for whom other solutions cannot be found.

Canada will also provide $2.25 million in support to other humanitarian partners. This support will contribute to improved health, living conditions, and protection for crisis-affected people as follows:

  • safe drinking water to as many as 1,000,000 people in violence-prone areas;
  • basic health services to some 350,000 persons;
  • cash assistance to up to 4,500 women-headed households;
  • agricultural inputs to some 10,500 destitute households to support livelihoods restoration; and
  • initiatives to promote respect for humanitarian principles and international humanitarian law with Iraqi authorities and other influential actors.