International Development Secretary Justine Greening said Friday "This aid from the British people will help the Yazidi community, who are now cut off on Mount Sinjar, get immediate emergency support. It will also ensure thousands more people get medical help, shelter, food and clean water."
Earlier this week, Islamic State militants attacked the northern town of Sinjar in Iraq's Ninewa Province, forcing tens of thousands of residents to flee and seek shelter on the nearby mountaintop. With militants encircling the base of the mountain and the trapped residents running low on food and water supplies, the security and humanitarian situation is dire.
British humanitarian relief, the international aid organization said, will include: $3.36 million for emergency humanitarian supplies for 75,000 people that can be airdropped to the people trapped on Mount Sinjar; $5 million to on-the-ground charities in NGOs assisting displaced people in northern Iraq; $4.1 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross; and $838,900 for Kurdish and United Nations coordination and response to humanitarian needs in the region.
On Thursday, U.S. President Barack Obama informed the American public during a televised address from the White House that in response to the crisis on Mount Sinjar, "American aircraft have begun conducting humanitarian airdrops of food and water to help these desperate men, women and children survive." He also authorized the use of targeted airstrikes to thwart advances by the Islamic State.