By Stephanie Nebehay for Reuters

Fri June 20 2014

The United Nations said on Friday it was expanding aid operations in Iraq to help 1 million people driven from their homes by fighting as Islamist militant forces have seized wide tracts of the country’s north and west this year.

Many families are living in the open, in urgent need of food, water, shelter and latrines, said Jacqueline Badcock, the United Nations resident and humanitarian coordinator in Iraq.

“Humanitarian agencies are rapidly scaling up in the face of this unfortunate challenge,” she said in a statement appealing for access to thousands of displaced in areas held by armed factions including the radical Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL).

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