EU offers extra 5m euros for Iraqis fleeing violence

BRUSSELS (AFP) - The European Union on Thursday offered an extra 5 million euros (S$8.49 million) to help the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis displaced by a jihadist offensive.

"This fresh wave of violence has terrible consequences for vulnerable children, women and men", said the EU's Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid Kristalina Georgieva, announcing funding that will bring total EU humanitarian assistance for 2014 to 12 million euros.

The latest upheaval was precipitated by the capture of Mosul by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and attacks by armed opposition groups targeting the governorates of Ninewah, Salah Al-Din, Diyala and Al Anbar.

Ms Georgieva said up to half a million people have been displaced from Ninewah so far, adding to the more than 400,000 uprooted in the last six months.

While the full scale of the humanitarian disaster remained unclear as many displaced families were being hosted by relatives and communities, the numbers were expected to rise, she said.

The situation in Iraq will be discussed at talks in Luxembourg on Monday by EU foreign ministers who are to be joined by the UN envoy to Baghdad Nickolay Mladenov, a former Bulgarian foreign minister.

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