Displaced children walk near tents

Syrian refugees in Iraq — Sarah Malian, Christian Aid/ACT

The dramatic events of recent weeks have seen the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) take over large swaths of northern and western Iraq from central government control. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled Mosul and other cities in the northwest. The violence has spread rapidly with as many as a million people being displaced.

Many of the initially displaced population of Sunni Arab ethnicity have been able to return to their homes in the Mosul area; however, the displaced minority groups of Shiite, Christian, and Kurdish ethnicity remain fearful for their future under ISIL and seem most likely to remain in the Kurdish-controlled section of the Nineveh plain to the east and north of the Mosul region of Iraq.

This latest displacement comes at a time when the country is already responding to the ongoing crisis where almost 220,000 Syrian refugees have sought refuge in the same region. Some of the Syrian refugees have been in Iraq for as long as two years, and this case load has strained the humanitarian capacity of the Kurdish Regional Government and its international partners.

Response

PDA has provided a solidarity grant to our partners with the National Evangelical Church of Iraq in light of increased violence.  This grant will enable our partners to respond to the needs of over 120 interfaith families who have fled from Mosel and are currently finding shelter near Kirkuk. The National Evangelical Church of Iraq is providing food, water, clothing, fuel, hygiene items, and bedding to those most in need as well as working to help those who are displaced to find housing and employment.

PDA will also respond to this crisis in cooperation with and as a member of ACT Alliance.  There is a major need for water, food, shelter, healthcare, sanitation and protection from violence. ACT members have already been working in informal camps to provide hygiene and sanitation kits, food packages and emergency shelters.

How you can help

Stand in the GAP for those in need and help the church respond to this crisis.

Give. Share your financial blessings by designating gifts to DR000082-Iraq. Individuals may give through your local Presbyterian congregation, online, or by mailing a check to Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) P.O. Box 643700 Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700. 

Act. Like us on Facebook PDACares. Visit the PC(USA) World Mission page for information on this impact for the Christian community.

Pray: That displaced families living in fear for their lives would know courage, strength and peace; and that those responding to the ‘multi-layered disaster’ of Iraqi refugees in addition to the needs of the existing Syrian refugee community will not be overwhelmed.

 
 

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