Britain will provide 3m of emergency humanitarian assistance to help civilians fleeing the fighting in Iraq.
The support will include clean water, medicine, women-friendly hygiene kits, sanitation and basic household items.
It comes after Department for International Development experts were deployed to Iraq on Thursday to assess the situation.
Now the UK has activated its Rapid Response Facility, which provides support via approved organisations at times of crisis.
International Development Secretary Justine Greening said: “Iraq is facing serious humanitarian need and the UK contribution to the international relief response will include initial funding for clean water, medicine and sanitation, as well as support for the UNHCR to provide dedicated safety and welfare teams to protect vulnerable women.”
DiFD added in a statement that the UK will continue to monitor the situation and work with the Red Cross/Red Crescent and the UN.
Hundreds of thousands of civilians have fled their homes amid an offensive by Sunni insurgents from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The fighters have seized a numbers of towns and cities as they make their way south to the capital, Baghdad.
Many civilians have gone to the autonomous Kurdish region in the north, and aid workers said most people are arriving with little more than the clothes on their backs and little money.
Save The Children said it was “working around the clock” with refugees and displaced people.
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14 June 2014 | 11:08 am – Source: orange.co.uk