Ice Bucket Challenge: Kurdistan’s deputy PM isn’t taking part in ALS campaign because he's 'trying to solve a humanitarian crisis'

Qubad Talabani apologises for not joining in just yet but says the current humanitarian crisis takes precedence  

Matt Damon, Lady GaGa, Bill Gates, George Bush, Oprah Winfrey, and Mark Zuckerberg are just some of the high-profile people to have taken part in the Ice Bucket Challenge, and helped contribute to the more than $88.5 million (£53.4 million) raised for the ALS Association in the past four weeks.

But there are some who have received nominations that can be forgiven deciding to not take part, and one of them is Kurdistan’s deputy prime minister, Qubad Talabani.

On Monday, after numerous nominations, Mr Talabani apologised to his 44,000 Twitter followers for not joining in with the challenge yet, and explained why.

“Apologies for not accepting #IceBucketChallenge’s yet. Currently helping to run a government, manage a humanitarian crisis & win a war,” he tweeted.


And he can be forgiven for pouring ice water on his nominations of late, as Kurdish fighters are currently battling to stop the advance of Islamist militants in Iraq, who have mostly routed Kurdish forces in the north of the country in recent weeks, seizing more towns, oilfields and the strategic Mosul dam.

While the Kurdish Peshmerga troops have since reclaimed the dam, the fight is far from over. US and European countries have now begun arming and co-ordinating with the Kurdish army to aid their offensive against the militants.

Mr Talabani is not the only politician to have opted out of the challenge; President Obama declined to take part in filming himself being drenched in ice water but he has donated to the ALS association. President Putin was nominated by Vin Diesel, though the Russian leader has yet to comment on the subject.

Video: Celebrities take on the ice bucket challenge  

The Ice Bucket Challenge has raised more than $88.5 million (£53.4 million) for the ALS Association, a notable feat for an organisation that only made $2.6 million (£1.6 million) in the same four-week period last year.