address about the situation in Iraq to the UN Security Council on Friday. Foreign Minister Børge Brende made it clear that Norway will assist Iraq in its fight against ISIL through political, military and not least humanitarian support.
– Today’s meeting of the Security Council sends an important signal of international support for Iraq in its fight against the extremist organisation ISIL, Brende said.
– The fight against ISIL must be fought along several different lines. In addition to providing military support and humanitarian aid, we must also stop the flow of foreign fighters to Iraq and Syria and cut off funding to ISIL. It is equally important to build up political and ideological opposition to the organisation, particularly in the countries in the region, the Norwegian Foreign Minister said.
Mr Brende announced in his address that Norway will increase its humanitarian aid to Iraq and Syria by NOK 63 million. The day before, the Government announced that Norway will provide staff officers for the international headquarters that is to plan and lead the international operation in Iraq. The Government is also considering a capacity-building contribution.
– The humanitarian situation in Iraq is precarious. Those who have fled their homes have had to leave everything behind, and are in urgent need of shelter, food, and other humanitarian help. The situation will become even more acute as winter approaches. Action must be taken quickly to limit the humanitarian crisis, which could otherwise escalate to the scale of the Syrian crisis. Norway is therefore increasing its humanitarian aid to Syria and Iraq by NOK 63 million, said Mr Brende.
More than 1.8 million people in Iraq have fled from ISIL’s brutality during the course of a few months. Minority groups are particularly badly affected.
With the new allocation, Norway’s will have provided a total of NOK 200 million in humanitarian aid to Iraq this year, and NOK 788 million to Syria.