UN agencies call for the protection of civilians in Iraq

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Mosul exodus – Khazair checkpoint, near the Erbil governorate, Kurdistan, Iraq. UNifeed (video capture)

UN agencies are calling for the protection of civilians caught up in the fighting in Iraq.

Around half a million people have fled Mosul in the north of Iraq after rebel fighters took control of the country’s second largest city.

Heavy fighting between Iraqi security forces and insurgents has been continuing for days.

Farhan Haq, the Deputy Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General says the UN Children's Fund is appealing for additional support to respond to the crisis.

"UNICEF says that up to half of the estimated 500,000 people, who have fled since the 5th of June, are children. UNICEF and its partners are prioritizing the delivery of emergency aid, including immunizations to help prevent diseases such as polio and measles."  (13″)

Meanwhile, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Nikolay Mladenov, met with Speaker Osama Nujeifi of the Iraqi Council of Representatives on Thursday.

He expressed his concern for the grave situation saying that the ongoing violence in parts of Iraq is the most severe threat to its security in years.

He reiterated the UN's support for the Iraqi Government in its efforts to fight against terrorist organizations.

Sophie Outhwaite, United Nations

Duration:  1’16″



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