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Civilians paying price for Iraqi insecurity, EU says

March 13, 2014 at 11:10 AM   |   Comments

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BAGHDAD, March 13 (UPI) -- The European commissioner in charge if humanitarian aid said Thursday the people of Iraq were once again suffering as a result of national security issues.

European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid Kristalina Georgieva met in Baghdad with Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari to discuss problems for the civilian population. She said in a statement Thursday she was concerned by mass displacements in Anbar province, where al-Qaida insurgents are fighting.

"The conditions for those who have fled are tough and for those who remain trapped in the cities of Ramadi and Fallujah delivery of aid is extremely difficult," she said. "It is always the most vulnerable who bear the brunt of the violence."

Georgieva said the European Union was more than doubling its humanitarian assistance to Iraq to $9.7 million to help address the needs of those displaced by violence.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, is struggling to stabilize a country witnessing a rise in al-Qaida activity, particularly in western Anbar province. U.S. officials have said al-Qaida is exploiting political divisions between Shiite and Sunni leaders in the country.

Last week, Adrian Edwards, a spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, said parts of Fallujah, the provincial capital, are under siege.

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