The UN has declared its highest level of emergency in Iraq as a humanitarian crisis follows the rapid advance by Islamic State militants in the north, according to the (BBC)
Kurdish officials in Dohuk province said some 150,000 refugees were in the area, overwhelming the local population who were trying to feed them.
Meanwhile the US says it is unlikely there will be a rescue mission to help thousands who have fled to Mt Sinjar.
The UN estimates that 1.2 million Iraqis have been internally displaced by the crisis.
The three other countries that have the same emergency status are Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
The declaration by the UN of “Level 3 Emergency” would “facilitate mobilisation of additional resources in goods, funds and assets to ensure a more effective response to the humanitarian needs of populations affected by forced displacements”, said UN special representative Nickolay Mladenov.
The situation of displaced people on Mount Sinjar remained critical, he said.