Help the displaced people in northern Iraq | Mission East

Help the displaced people in northern Iraq

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Displaced, homeless, transient, fleeing. These simple words fail to fully represent the lives destroyed and the terrible uncertainty of being forced to leave one’s home, land, job, and in some cases loved-ones and having to patch life together for an unknown period of time in a new place. This is the reality for the 2.68 million people who are currently displaced in Iraq.

In the areas where they have settled there is not enough shelter to keep them safe and protect them from the elements. Most have come with only the few belongings which they could carry on their bodies and lack basic necessities. Getting adequate food, water and access to basic hygiene items like soap and a proper toilet is a daily struggle. 

In the governorate of Dohuk, where Mission East is working, the massive influx of displaced people has more than doubled the local population, putting a heavy strain on the government and host community. The highest percentage of Iraq’s displaced people are in this region (17%). Only 30% of these people are currently accommodated in formal camps, while the rest struggle to make their own informal settlements in places such as open fields, abandoned buildings, buildings under construction, school buildings or churches. A fortunate few are able to stay in rented accommodation or share a home with families in the host community.

Mission East is helping those in inadequate informal settlements by providing basic household items and goods which will help them survive the winter such as blankets, mattresses, clothing and footwear. We are also helping to make insufficient shelters warmer and safer by providing materials to winterise them.

Many of those who have fled have suffered serious trauma. Persecuted for their beliefs, devalued because of their ethnicity, and witnesses of atrocities carried out by armed groups, these individuals need our best efforts to help them return to a sense of normalcy, and promote their recovery.

To make these efforts possible Mission East re-established an office in the northern Iraq in September 2014. Mission East has worked in Iraq in the past: from 2003 to 2005 we assisted with the reintegration of returning populations in Dohuk. In light of the recent crisis Mission East has decided to return at this time to contribute to the vastly over-stretched humanitarian efforts in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. We are working in partnership with Integral partners as well as local churches and organisations to maximise the impact we can make.

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