Bishop Nick has just returned from Iraq, where he met displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees in the north of the country, who’ve been forced to flee their homes to escape conflict.
He travelled with Christian Aid to meet some of the families struggling to live day-to-day in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, forgotten by western media as others leave to seek sanctuary in Europe.
He says, “We met families who had lost everything in a moment and listened to their stories of unimaginable suffering – not only Yazidis, Christians and Shia Muslims, but also Sunni Muslims from Syria and Iraq; because ISIS are indiscriminate in their savagery. And we learned that only 9% of promised international humanitarian aid has actually been paid in. There is a danger that this could become a forgotten emergency.
“By providing vocational training to refugee families, food to refugee camps and medicines to displaced people, Christian Aid's partners are providing some hope, but the humanitarian needs are huge. Over 10 million Iraqis - almost a third of the population – are in need of aid.” Read his blogs on the trip here. (Photo: Bishop Nick and Bishops of Coventry & Southwark)
A spokesperson for Christian Aid says, “The Kurdish region of northern Iraq is now home to over one million displaced Iraqis and 250,000 Syrian refugees. We must urge the UK government and other leaders to provide both more short term aid and more long term support to help with the task of post-conflict reconstruction as soon this is possible.
“Through local partners, we are providing blankets, clothing, and medicines, as well as counselling and legal services to vulnerable women. We have also provided organised paid work schemes (allowing recipients some control over their situation), training for vocational skills and supported displaced people to start up their own small businesses.”
To find out more about Christian Aid’s work in Iraq or to donate to the Iraq Crisis appeal, visit the Christian Aid website
For further information or to arrange an interview please contact Jo Rogers on jrogers [at] christian-aid.org () 020 7523 2460 hour press duty phone – 07850 242950
Notes to Editors:
1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.
2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change www.christianaid.org.uk/images/partnership-for-change-summary.pdf explains how we set about this task.
3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org
4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire
5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid, visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk