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.
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For more information, media should contact:
Daniel Bezalel Richardsen
Press Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation
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:
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: