CWS appeal: Assistance to Iraqi refugees and displaced

The population in Iraq has suffered for years as a consequence of the US-led war in 2003 and, earlier, sanctions that were imposed after the Gulf War in 1991. The widespread insecurity due to the collapse of the regime of Saddam Hussein and the absence of adequate security forces forced large parts of the population to take refuge in other parts of Iraq and in neighboring countries, in Europe and North America.

The population in Iraq has suffered for years as a consequence of the US-led war in 2003 and, earlier, sanctions that were imposed after the Gulf War in 1991. The widespread insecurity due to the collapse of the regime of Saddam Hussein and the absence of adequate security forces forced large parts of the population to take refuge in other parts of Iraq and in neighboring countries, in Europe and North America.

There are up to 2.5 million internally displaced people (IDPs), according to UNHCR figures in January 2008, and those displaced continue to be in need of food, water, housing, medical care and education for their children. The Iraqi Red Crescent Society estimates that 38 percent of IDPs are women and children. Meanwhile, the number of people who left Iraq is estimated to be more than 2.5 million. Syria alone has an estimated 1.2 million Iraqi refugees.

Against this background, it remains a priority for Church World Service to assist in providing humanitarian relief to both refugees and IDPs - in this case in supporting programs by CWS partners International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) and the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC), both fellow Action by Churches Together International members.

Please note: This current appeal builds on some of the efforts supported under our CWS 2007 Iraq appeal which was for a 12-month period and closed in June 2008.

Response

These latest CWS-supported efforts include support for IOCC work in assisting selected communities in Iraq through its church-related network. Some 4,500 Iraqi families will receive food parcels and hygiene kits.

CWS support for the work of MECC includes assisting 1,500 families with non-food items, as well as providing 500 young people between the ages of 18 and 25 in covering the fees of vocational training courses. Support is also being provided to assist 400 Iraqi women with health and hygiene education.

Details

IOCC: The target population for the IOCC work will be particularly vulnerable members of society living inside Baghdad, including low-income families, single-headed families, orphans, elderly, those living in shelters and people living in institutions. The assistance for the 4,500 families and households will consist of:

Family food parcel, to include 2 packs of 350 g spaghetti, 850 g of tomato paste, 1kg of beans, 2 cans of 170g each tuna fish, 1 can of 850 g chicken, 1 liters of cooking oil, 1kg of salt, 450 g of tea, 2 packs of 120 g each cheese , 450 g of jam and 400g of milk powder. Each parcel is worth the equivalent of about $25.

Family hygiene kit: to include 400g of washing powder, 5 pieces of 100g bathing soap, 500 ml of disinfectant, 600 ml of shampoo, 4 tooth brushes, 2 tubes of 110 g tooth paste, 1L dish washing liquid, and 1 roll of toilet paper. Each parcel is worth the equivalent of about $9.

Families of less than four members will receive one food parcel and one hygiene parcel. Families of more than four members will receive two food parcels and one hygiene parcel. The targeted 4,500 families will receive both food and hygiene parcels, of which 2,655 families will receive two food parcels and one hygiene parcel and 1,845 families will receive one food parcel and one hygiene parcel.

MECC: The MECC program to assist Iraqi refugees in Syria will reach highly vulnerable Iraqi populations. At least 1,500 families who are in greatest need will receive hygiene kits, 500 youth from both genders and from different faith affiliations and age (18-25) will receive assistance to cover the fees of vocational training courses in English language, hair styling for men and women, mobile maintenance, sewing and knitting skills. Meanwhile, 400 Iraqi women will receive health awareness education. The hygiene distribution and education programs will be based in Damascus and Aleppo through local church partners.

The hygiene kits will contain bars of soap, toilet paper napkins, liquid antiseptic, toilet brush, liquid soap, powder soap, bath sponge, shampoo and sink sponge.

Contributions to support this emergency appeal may be made online, sent to your denomination or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN, 46515. Please designate: Appeal # 6825, 2008 Assistance to Iraqi Refugees and Displaced.

 

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