NZ pledges aid to Iraq refugees

New Zealand will send $500,000 to help refugees displaced by violence in Iraq, says Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully.

Mr McCully today announced New Zealand would provide $500,000 to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to help those displaced by fighting in Iraq.

The money would provide urgently needed supplies such as family tents, mattresses, blankets, hygiene kits and water containers for those in need, he said.

"An estimated 500,000 people have been forced from their homes in recent days due to advances by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

"There are now one million internally displaced people in Iraq and 350,000 Syrian refugees who have fled the civil war in their own country.

"These numbers could rise rapidly if the security situation continues to deteriorate."

New Zealand was committed to the international humanitarian effort in Iraq, he said.


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