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Women's Center in Erbil and projects providing refugee & IDP assistance in Kurdistan

The Problem

Since 2014 more than 2 million internally displaced people have arrived into the Kurdish region of Iraq.  Some have come fleeing the carnage of ISIS, others have fled as shi'ite militia, who in many instances are as harsh as ISIS towards sunnis, have ordered them to leave their homes.  All have been scared by the violence gripping Iraq and lost family members either to ISIS or the militias. 

Most arrive into our province with little more than a backpack, left destitute without work in a region where they don’t even speak the language.  They try to enter one of the overcrowded UN camps – some of which are at 200% of their designed capacity and are turned away.  Forced to settle in abandoned housing, shipping containers, and makeshift tents, they are hidden marginalized from society often receiving no outside help and are left wondering how they will survive.

Our Response

In conjunction with the local security services MRDS goes and finds these families and specifically targets them for assistance.  We survey each area to understand the needs and then target our assistance accordingly.  We focus our assistance on capacity building, providing stoves for cooking, carpet and heaters to keep warm, refrigerators to store food in the summer, repairing abandoned homes to make them safer to live in and some food assistance and on an as needed basis we bring international medical experts for health checks. Our goal is simple – give people hope that they can survive and the physical and emotional capacity to go and look for work to provide food for their families.

The Impact

Most who come feel as though the world has turned against them. Forced from their homes and their communities, they now live in the Kurdish region where they don’t speak the language and most Kurdish residents view them with deep suspicion verging on hatred due to the history of oppression the Kurds have faced at the hands of Arabs

Into this we go with our Kurdish partners not just to blindly meet needs, but we get to know the families and their stories.  We listen, we get to know them, and we choose to love them and show kindness.

The Need 

Recently we were shown a list of more than 1000 internally displaced Arabs from central Iraq who according to the local security police are receiving no assistance from the UN or other international organizations. At present $15,000 will allow us to begin survey new areas and target 100 of these families who are in the greatest need.  We can utilize up to $60,000 in additional funding to keep our programs running well.

Donate

Women's Center (NIrq-D.005)Support the ongoing programs at the center in Erbil.

Refugee and IDP Crisis (Irq-P.008)Give to fund the distribution and cost of supplies to refugees and IDPS and to survey new target groups for further aid distribution and development