New UN relief chief to visit Iraq

United Nations, June 6 (IANS) The newly appointed UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Stephen O’Brien, will be travelling to Iraq for three days starting Sunday, an official said.

“O’Brien will review progress with the humanitarian response and is expected to meet displaced families and senior Iraqi and Kurdish officials,” UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Friday.

“The humanitarian situation in Iraq is dire as we have been flagging here almost daily,” Xinhua news agency reported citing Dujarric as saying.

According to the official UN data, nearly three million Iraqis have been displaced since January and over eight million people need assistance across the country.

Aid agencies urgently need access to vulnerable people in need, as well as funding for critical relief work.

“The visit will also focus on how the UN and humanitarian partners can best support the government of Iraq in providing assistance and protection for all the people in need,” the spokesman added.

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