Forcibly Displaced Receive Supplies in Northern Iraq

CGR

Fri Sep 19 2014 14:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

IRAQ - The humanitarian situation in Iraq continues to escalate as an estimated 1.6 million refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally displaced people are expected to be within the country as of December 2014 (Source: UNHCR). Upcoming winter months and the constant influx of Syrian refugees continue to place additional strains on local infrastructure, yet basic life essentials are beginning to arrive on site and properly be distributed.

IRAQ - The humanitarian situation in Iraq continues to escalate as an estimated 1.6 million refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally displaced people are expected to be within the country as of December 2014 (Source: UNHCR). Upcoming winter months and the constant influx of Syrian refugees continue to place additional strains on local infrastructure, yet basic life essentials are beginning to arrive on site and properly be distributed.

Canadian Global Response President Abraham Shepherd reports that minorities have begun to receive aid, yet many are unaware of their suffering. Many of these families have gone for three weeks with little to eat, Abraham said.

“We entered this one camp, and they said, ‘So far we are just eating rice and some watery tomato soup. We have only had meat once. A guy came and he gave us some chicken. Just for a day.”

“It touched my heart, to know we could provide some good, healthy nutrition for these people,” Abraham said. “It brought joy to their hearts for us to bring beans and other food. Just to make them feel they are normal and loved.”

Many of these families were urban professionals who owned homes and ran local businesses. In one area, an estimated 60,000 people left in the space of a few hours, most with only the clothes on their backs. Several families pooled their resources and managed to rent an apartment, Abraham said. Eight families shared two floors of an unfinished house.

“We entered this place, and it’s totally empty. It’s just a floor and concrete walls,” he shared. “To look at these children, to look in the eyes of a defeated father who cannot provide for his family, the least we could do was we bought carpet so it can be a little more comfortable for them than sleeping on the floor. Pillows. Blankets. Basic things.”

CGR has been active on the ground, and is working through other partners to provide food, water, baby formula, propane burners and temporary shelter. They also have been helping families obtain cooling units to provide relief from scorching summer heat.

“The heat is suffocating. The temperature is in the hundreds and it’s a dusty environment. So you can see a baby, 25 days old, they cannot endure this,” Abraham said. “So we try to have a water cooling system to help them in their own tent.”

But the ISIS advance across northern Iraq has compounded one crisis with another. “That makes it more tragic, in a sense, but at the same time it helps us because we already have work, we already have projects on the ground, to pool our efforts together, to pool our teams together,” Abraham shared.

Thank you for your generosity in partnering with CGR in making a difference in the Middle East. Crucial donations for the relief effort are coming from our Iraq Crisis and Global Hunger Fund, which will continue to be highlighted as we approach World Hunger Sunday on October 12.

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