Cabinet approves aid to Iraq

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The Latvian cabinet on Tuesday approved a donation of €50,000 to a fund run by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) for humanitarian aid required as a result of Islamic State's actions in the country.

"Latvia, taking into account security and the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Iraq, will provide emergency humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons in Iraq," a statement by the Foreign Ministry said.

"Security and the humanitarian situation in Iraq has worsened particularly since the 29th of June, when the so-called "Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant" ( ISIL ) announced the establishment of controlled areas in Iraq and Syria. Aware of the Iraqi national security forces' lack of effectiveness in the fight against ISIL, the international community has expressed its readiness to support the fight against this terrorist organization. 

"The US is co-ordinating an international coalition to combat ISIL, and these efforts have already seen nearly 50 countries join from around the world, including the Baltic States," the statement said. 

According to the UN, there are currently approximately 1.8 million internally displaced persons in Iraq - a figure roughly equivalent to the entire population of Latvia. 

420,000 people currently have no shelter, with winter rapidly approaching. food and medicines are both in short supply.

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