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UN Calls For Urgent Iraq Aid

The United Nations has launched an appeal for almost half a billion dollars in international aid to help tackle a worsening humanitarian crisis in Iraq.

Lise Grande, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Iraq, launched the appeal in Brussels on June 4, saying that "more than 50 percent of the operation will be shut down or cut back if money is not received immediately."

The UN and its partners are asking for $497 million to pay for shelter, food, and water over the next six months for 5.6 million people displaced or affected by violence.

Some 3 million people have been forced from their homes since the beginning of 2014.

A renewed offensive by the Islamic State group in western Iraq has displaced tens of thousands of people over the past month.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters