UN envoy warns that lack of funding for aid may be driving Iraqis to Islamic State extremists

The U.N. envoy for Iraq is warning that a lack of funds for desperately needed humanitarian aid has already cut food rations to millions of Iraqis and may be forcing communities and families to look to the Islamic State extremist group for life-saving assistance.

Jan Kubis told the U.N. Security Council Wednesday that the United Nations is very worried at reports that desperate Iraqis are turning to the militant Islamic group, which controls about a third of the country.

He said at least 8.2 million people — roughly one in four Iraqis — need urgent assistance, and half need food.

Kubis warned that close to 80 health facilities will close in the weeks ahead and scores of life-saving programs are scheduled to shut down unless additional funds are received.