NEW YORK, 28th December, 2016 (WAM) — The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has received a new pledge of 7 million Euros from the European Union to support the UN agency’s work in Iraq, where an estimated 11 million people, half of them children, are in need of humanitarian assistance.

“This generous funding from the European Union at such a critical time will enable UNICEF to continue providing emergency assistance to Iraq’s families, providing hope for a better future for every child,” said Peter Hawkins, the UNICEF Representative in Iraq, in a press release, which goes on to warn that as families continue to flee fighting in Mosul, humanitarian needs for those inside the city increase and winter conditions exacerbate children’s vulnerabilities.

The new contribution from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations, ECHO, brings the total amount of ECHO assistance committed to UNICEF Iraq in 2016 to 20 million Euros.

More than three million people are displaced in Iraq, and an estimated 11 million are in need of humanitarian assistance. In 2017, as many as 1.2 million additional people may be forced from their homes as military operations continue.