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UN Appeals For $861 Million To Help Iraqis

The United Nations is calling for $861 million in international humanitarian aid to help Iraqis whose lives have been devastated by war.

"Our top priority is to get to the people who are in the most trouble and to give them what they need in order to survive -- food, cash, shelter, water," UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq Lise Grande told a Baghdad news conference on January 31.

Iraq has been hit hard by falling oil prices, sectarianism that threatens to divide the state, and fighting with the extremist Islamic State group that has displaced some 3.3 million Iraqis.

A government report issued on January 31 estimated that Iraq needs $1.56 billion in 2016 to deal with the humanitarian crisis caused by the war with Islamic State.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP