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Sun 31 Jan 2016 02:25 PM

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Iraq needs $1.56bn to finance humanitarian crisis caused by war against ISIL

Baghdad will manage to fund less than 43 percent of the emergency response needs from its budget this year

Iraq needs $1.56bn to finance humanitarian crisis caused by war against ISIL

Iraq needs $1.56 billion this year to finance its emergency response to the humanitarian crisis caused by the war against ISIL, according to a government report released on Sunday.

Baghdad, strapped for cash amid a plunge in oil prices and higher military expenditure associated with the fight against the Sunni jihadist group, will manage to fund less than 43 percent of those needs from its budget, the report said.

"The international community is necessary for bridging the deficit or financing gap," it added.

The conflict has displaced more than 3.3 million people since 2014. The Iraqi government allocated around $850 million last year for efforts to shelter such families and help them return to recaptured areas, but it ended up funding less than 60 percent of that, the report showed.

ISIL seized about a third of Iraq's territory in the north and west in 2014, but has slowly been pushed back by Iraqi forces, Iranian-backed Shi'ite militias and Kurdish peshmerga fighters - backed by US-led coalition air strikes.

Most of the displaced people, living in makeshift camps, disused buildings and homes in Baghdad, the northern Kurdistan region and other areas, are from Iraq's Sunni minority.

Meanwhile, the United Nations has made an appeal on Sunday for $861 million to help Iraq meet its funding gap.

"With the expanding needs, the allocation through the federal budget will not be sufficient. We expect that the highly prioritised (UN) Humanitarian Response Plan will help cover part of the gap," Minister of Migration and Displacement Jassim Mohammed al-Jaff said in a statement.

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