boy standing at entrance to tent

Supporting the response in northern Iraq in partnership with ACT Alliance. — Photo by Saad Gedeon, LWF/ACT

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance received information about a specific need in Iraq.  Because of generous gifts by those participating in Blanket Sunday, the response will be timely.

Rev. Elmarie Parker, PC(USA) Regional Liaison for Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Iran, shares about the need:

“Since June 2014, over 1 million people have been displaced out of their homes, businesses, schools, and communities in Iraq.  Most families were only able to leave with, literally, the clothes on their backs.  It was summer then, and now winter is coming.

“Over 2,000 families have come to Baghdad, with more still arriving. The Presbyterian Church in Baghdad is reaching 50 to 60 families a week that are living in temporary housing within a 10-kilometer radius of their location. They have been providing everything these families need: food, clothes, bedding, hygiene items, fuel for cooking, and some spending money. Now, with winter on the way, they are working to supply blankets and winter clothing, along with heaters.

The Presbyterian Church in Kirkuk is hosting 13 families (63 people) in their building.  Grandparents, parents, teens, and young children have all found shelter here.  The congregation provides for all of their needs, including transportation to doctors' appointments and paying for any needed medicines or tests.  In addition, the Church is reaching out to several hundred families staying at other churches in the Kirkuk and nearby cities--filling in the gaps with needed supplies.  Winter in this NE Iraqi city gets cold, and blankets are in huge demand with the prices rising every day.

“The province of Dohuk in NW Iraq had a population of 500,000 before this crisis erupted in June. Within two-weeks’ time, the province absorbed another 700,000 people. PC(USA) workers live in Dohuk city and partner with local churches and agencies to make sure displaced families are receiving what they need to be ready for the very cold winters that sweep across the province.”

PDA has committed $12,000 to be shared among Presbyterian Churches in the three affected areas for the local purchase of blankets.  We hope to be able to do more to help the people displaced and persecuted in Iraq through partnership with our generous PC(USA) congregations.

How to Help

Give

  • Support disaster response in Iraq through gifts to DR000082. 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. 
  • Support the ecumenical CWS blanket fund through gifts to DR000072.

Act

Pray

Please pray that displaced families living in fear for their lives would know courage, strength and peace; that the local churches will have enough to meet the needs; 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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