Families escaping the violence in northern Iraq will be offered refuge in Ireland as part of an emergency response to the growing humanitarian crisis in the region.

The Irish government will also grant approximately $668,000 in funding support to major charities that work with the most vulnerable casualties of the current crisis.

According to the Irish Independent the decision to accept refugees from Iraq has just been taken, with work already under way, although details of how many people will be allowed to resettle in the country have not been revealed.

"The plight of the most vulnerable - particularly, children, women and elderly people - is increasingly desperate and Ireland is doing all it can to provide urgent life-saving assistance," Irish Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan told the Irish Independent.

The new Irish government funding will be divided between UNICEF and the International Committee of the Red Cross and will reportedly focus on the elderly, women and children and minority groups.

Yazidi civilians, nearly 30,000 of whom are currently displaced near Mount Sinjar, and hundreds of thousands of internally displaced Iraqis will be the main focus of the current funding.

How to decide who will qualify for resettlement to Ireland is now being determined by the Department of Justice. A spokesman for the department said that a system to relocate Syrian refugees could provide a model for those feeling the Iraq crisis.

Syrians living in Ireland can apply for close family members to join them on a temporary basis. Relatives are required to look after the newcomers who are allowed to work on arrival.