Norway to aid humanitarian effort in Iraq – offers transport aircraft

Developments in Iraq are very worrying, and the acute emergency needs must be met quickly. “There is a great need for international involvement. Norway is therefore making a significant contribution, and looking at ways to do even more,” says Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

Developments in Iraq are very worrying, and the acute emergency needs must be met quickly. “There is a great need for international involvement. Norway is therefore making a significant contribution, and looking at ways to do even more,” says Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

The UN has declared the situation in Iraq a Category 3 humanitarian disaster, on the scale of Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic. US authorities have enquired about possible contributions from a number of European countries and countries in the region. For Norway, what’s on the table is humanitarian assistance.

“The UN Security Council has urged the international community to help the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people alleviate suffering. Some 1.4 million people have fled their homes and 1.5 million people need emergency aid in areas ravaged by ISIL,” says Brende.

Several countries have pledged military and humanitarian contributions.

“The situation in northern Iraq is constantly evolving, and the necessary transport capacity is still being organised. We want to be prepared to contribute. We’re therefore making a C-130J transport aircraft available to deliver assistance on short notice if the need for military airlift capacity is confirmed,” says Minister of Defence Ine Eriksen Søreide.

“C-130 deployment can take place rapidly once a potential mission is defined. The support capacities that are needed must be prepared in accordance with the mission’s character. Functions needing support may include logistics, command and control, maintenance, force protection or liaison functions,” said the defence minister. Not under discussion is a contribution of military forces, weapons or weapons transport.

Several legal issues must be resolved before Norway would initiate flights.