Baghdad : The United Nations has announced its highest level of emergency for the humanitarian crisis in Iraq in the wake of the onslaught by Islamic militants who have overrun much of the country’s north and west and driven out hundreds of thousands from their homes, reports AP.

The U.N.’s declaration of a “Level 3 Emergency” will trigger additional goods, funds and assets to respond to the needs of the displaced, said U.N. special representative Nickolay Mladenov, who pointed to the “scale and complexity of the current humanitarian catastrophe.” The U.N. said it would provide increased support to those who have escaped Sinjar and to 400,000 other Iraqis who have fled since June to the Kurdish province of Dahuk. Others have fled to other parts of the Kurdish region or further south. A total of 1.5 million have been displaced by the fighting since the insurgents captured Iraq’s city Mosul, in June.