Latest update: August 13, 2014
The offensive by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has resulted in the displacement of 1.2 million people in central and northern Iraq since January. A number of Iraqi minorities are among the internally displaced, including Christians and Yazidis who have been systematically driven from their towns and villages by the jihadist. At this point, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) estimates that roughly 1.5 million Iraqis need urgent humanitarian aid. However, ongoing violence and the weakness of the Iraqi regime has hindered the organization of the relief effort, the delivery of supplies, and the work of humanitarian assistance agencies.
Development and Peace and its partners respond
Despite continuing hostilities, Caritas Iraq and Catholic Relief Services (CRS) have begun distributing relief and other basic supplies to 3500 families in the country and expect to be able to help more than 30,000 additional families over the next six months.
Other Caritas organizations in the region are also mobilizing in response to the rising tide of Iraqi refugees moving towards their borders.
Development and Peace has sent an initial amount of $50,000 from its standing emergency fund to support its partners working in the region. These funds as well as public donations received will be used to respond to the priorities identified by our partners on the ground and to deal with the restrictions on their ability to intervene caused by the ongoing violence and unsettled situation in the north of the country.
Development and Peace, which has worked with Caritas Iraq and with other local organizations throughout the Middle East for the last 14 years, will continue to support peace-building activities throughout the region and to promote good governance, citizen participation and harmonious relations between various religious groups, while defending the human rights of citizens all too often caught in the middle between warring factions.