" --IANS/WAM"
Vienna, Aug 22 (IANS/WAM) The Austrian government has approved one million euros ($1.3 million) in emergency aid from the Foreign Disaster Relief Fund (FDRF) to the UN in northern Iraq, the country's foreign ministry said in a statement.

It (FDRF) has launched another initiative: a joint relief operation of the Austrian foreign and defence ministries. Austria is providing Red Cross aid packages to the value of 150,000 euros financed by the Austrian Development Agency operating within the foreign ministry, the ministry added.

The supplies will be distributed by Austrian embassy staff in cooperation with local bodies.

the Austrian Foreign Ministry is in contact with the Kurdish leaders on site. The packages contain supplies for medical emergency aid. This aid mission will ensure medical aid for 100,000 people for three months.

Starting at the end of last week, Austria was among the first countries to provide help to northern Iraq in this humanitarian crisis, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said.

We do not turn a blind eye to this situation; we do what we can. Hundreds of thousands of people are fleeing from the fighters of a cruel terrorist organisation, he said

In an emergency situation like the one currently in Iraq, aid must be provided as quickly and efficiently as possible, Defence Minister Gerald Klug said.

By joining forces, the Austrian Government is able to help quickly and show its solidarity.

--IANS/WAM

ab/dg


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