Attention moved on, but we haven’t
In June 2014, fighting escalated in the northern governorate of Ninewa. It intensified an already serious situation within Iraq, as it also faced protracted conflict in Anbar province. The UN upgraded the crisis to its highest possible emergency designation.
“Families from all walks of life have been caught up in the fighting,” explains Mohammed Makki, country director for Islamic Relief in Iraq. “Vast numbers of people have been uprooted as they fled their homes in search of safety. Waves of displacement have left 2.68 million people internally displaced within Iraq, a country which is also host to nearly 250,000 refugees fleeing war-torn Syria – and the figure is still rising.”
Essential services have deteriorated or become totally unavailable as public infrastructure strains to cope with the influx of people searching for safety. One in four internally displaced families have been forced to cut their food intake, whilst in some areas nearly half of all households have done so.
International attention has moved on, but Islamic Relief has not
An end to the conflict remains elusive, and international attention has shifted away from the deepening humanitarian situation in Iraq. But Islamic Relief has not moved on.
Having worked in Iraq since 1996, we provided lifesaving aid since the onset of the crisis from our offices in Erbil and Baghdad. With your support and that of Islamic Relief offices around the world, last year alone we assisted over 357,000 people with our multi-million dollar emergency operations.
We deliver aid in all of the worst affected provinces, and have this year already reached in excess of 106,000 vulnerable people.
Partnering with UNICEF and UN agencies such as the WFP, UNHCR, FAO and UNFPA, we have distributed food and vital items such as tents, blankets and heaters. We have helped children get a good education with a project joint-funded by ROTA, one of the few supporters of education in Iraq. We have enabled families to earn a living once more. We are directly supporting over 1,300 vulnerable children through our orphan sponsorship scheme.
But as needs continue to rise in Iraq, humanitarian funding is falling short. Significant gaps exist in almost every sector – including food, shelter, protection, education, water, health, and livelihoods. Families caught up in this devastating crisis need more help, and they need it now.