Women and children freed from IS terror - now they need help to survive. | Mission East

Women and children freed from IS terror - now they need help to survive.

Women and children freed from IS terror

A group of women and children were freed from Islamic State while Kim Hartzner was visiting Kirkuk in northern Iraq. As with all refugees, they are in desperate need of everything in order to make it through the coming winter. Mission East is distributing food and hygiene kits.

"We saw a whole group of people who had been liberated from their ISIS captors the very same day," says Managing Director Kim Hartzner, who has just returned from a visit to a village near Kirkuk in northern Iraq.

“Kurdish soldiers had transported them over the border, and suddenly the group of women and children found themselves sitting on the bare earth with what few possessions they had,” he continues. They had hardly brought any possessions with them. It was an awful sight, but it also served as an incentive to continue our efforts.

Kim Hartzner visited a village located near the city of Kirkuk, just seven kilometres from the front-line with IS. 202 families live there in dilapidated and unfinished building construction sites, which they use as makeshift shelter from the wind and rain. They have all fled the IS reign of terror and received emergency relief from Mission East two weeks ago.

“These are people whom have lost everything in their escape from IS. We gave them rice, cooking oil and hygiene kits. Soap, disinfectant, jerry cans and everything else that is required to cope and stay disease-free,” says Hartzner.

The group of women and children living in such a desperate, precarious situation illustrates the exceedingly urgent need for additional assistance. Winter is approaching fast, and these refugees will succumb to the cold and disease unless someone intervenes.

“Every single one of these displaced people said that they need blankets, clothes and anything else that can be used to stay warm. We must do even more for these thousands of people suffering as a consequence of war and conflict. They may have escaped the conflict, but still live in close proximity to it. They are living a vulnerable existence, and they are entirely dependent on whatever help that we can give them.”