10 June 2016 - Christian Aid has helped more than 225,000 people in Iraq over the last two years and is scaling up its response to meet the mounting needs of those most recently affected by the conflict.
The country’s humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate as government forces battle ISIS to recapture Fallujah, to the west of Baghdad. Intense fighting over the last few weeks has displaced thousands and an estimated 50,000 men, women and children remain trapped in the besieged city, with scarce access to food, water and healthcare.
Fallujah was the first city in Iraq to fall under ISIS control in January 2014 and has been under siege for the last six months.
Frances Guy, Head of Middle East at Christian Aid, said: “The tragedy of Fallujah epitomises the tragedy of Iraq: a beautiful city on the banks of the Euphrates reduced to rubble, with citizens traumatised after years of conflict and reduced to fleeing the homes they have tried to hold on to as places of sanctuary when all around crumbles.
'This tragedy has already been played out in Ramadi and Sinjar and looks to be repeated in Mosul and elsewhere. At the heart of it are thousands of civilians just trying to live ordinary lives. In the battle against ISIS we need to remember those civilians.'
A Christian Aid partner is responding to the needs of those who have managed to escape Fallujah with clothes, shoes, underwear, blankets, nappies and sanitary towels for 1,600 of the most vulnerable women, children and elderly males.
Since last month Christian Aid has also been providing humanitarian aid to people recently displaced by the ongoing fighting around the northern cities of Mosul and Kirkuk; delivering clothes, blankets and hygiene items as well as cash transfers.
Two years ago Christian Aid launched its Iraq appeal when some half a million people fled their homes following the capture of Mosul by ISIS.
Thanks to the generous donations to the Christian Aid Iraq appeal, and support from donors including Irish Aid and ACT Alliance partners, Christian Aid has been responding to the needs of displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees with food, clothing, hygiene kits and health services to over 225,000 vulnerable men women and children in Iraq.
Christian Aid partner Asuda, which works to combat violence against women, has reached thousands of vulnerable women providing some basic hygiene kits and helping them access Asuda’s counselling, legal and medical referral services.
Frances Guy added: 'The generous support of the Kurdish Regional Government and international donors like the UK government has helped provide succour to those fleeing ISIS and the Syrian and Iraqi conflicts more generally. But the real task begins now, to help reconstruct the homes that have been destroyed and the communities that have been ripped apart.
'The UK and other governments need to keep up their support to the Iraqi government, and work directly with local authorities and grassroots organisations to help rebuild the vibrant multi-confessional Iraq that is the product of thousands of years of civilisation.'
See here to find out more about Christian Aid’s work in Iraq, or to donate to the Iraq Crisis appeal, visit this page.
If you would like further information please contact Florence Mutesasira on +353 86 160 9405 or email@example.com.
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, and sustainably. Our strategy document ‘From Inspiration to Impact’ outlines 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 Ireland on Twitter: twitter.com/christianaidirl
5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid, visit www.christianaid.ie