Displaced Iraqis walk towards the Syrian border on August 10th. Photo: Rodi Said/Scanpix
Development Minister Mogens Jensen announced an additional two million kroner emergency aid package to assist internally-displaced Iraqis on Sunday. The aid will be administered via the Danish Refugee Council and will go primarily to providing food and water to the refugees.
Jensen said that up to 1,000 families in temporary refugee camps would receive Danish aid by Monday.
“Denmark was one of the first countries in the world to contribute with emergency help to Iraq when we gave 20 million kroner before summer holiday to the internally-displaced refugees,” Jensen said in a press release. “The violent escalation of the conflict now requires that the entire international community contribute – this is about saving completely innocent people’s lives.”
A jihadist insurgency in northern Iraq has led to concerns of an impending genocide as members of the Yazidi religious minority have been targeted by Islamic fighters. Iraq's human rights minister said on Thursday that militants from the Islamic State (Isis) have killed at least 500 members of the Yazidi community.
The US carried out a military strike against the Islamists over the weekend and has also been air-dropping humanitarian aid in the area.
“The situation in Iraq is deeply tragic. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been forced to flee due to [Isis’s] brutal attacks, which are aimed at both minorities and Muslims who do not share [Isis’s] extremist ideology,” Denmark’s foreign minister, Martin Lidegaard, said in a statement.
With the additional two million kroner announced on Sunday, Denmark has contributed a total of 30 million kroner in humanitarian aid to Iraq in 2014.