Monday 19 April 2021

Government looking into aid transport to northern Iraq

The defence ministry is looking into the possibility of transporting aid to northern Iraq where Kurdish forces are fighting against the terrorist group ISIS, foreign minister Frans Timmermans said at the weekend.

The government has already authorised an extra €400,000 for Red Cross efforts to alleviate civilian suffering in the area, Timmersmans said in a written reply to parliamentary questions on Sunday evening.

The questions came from the opposition parties Christian Democrats and the two small Christian parties ChristenUnie and SGP.

More active

They want the government to take a more active role in helping the thousands of religious minority groups which are on the run from ISIS. 

They include the Yazidi religious minority which is stranded in the mountains of northern Iraq, where the US and UK have been making drops of food and water.

Well aware

According to Timmermans, the government is well aware of the gravity of the situation and is the Netherlands active in the humanitarian crisis, with close contact with all parties involved in providing aid.

The Dutch government is pushing the European Union to provide extra help and pointed to the €17m the EU has already made available for humanitarian aid.

The government is also pushing for the EU to stimulate a strong national government in Iraq which will include all the political and religious groups.




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