The Iraqi army and Kurdish forces recently reclaimed the Iraqi city of Mosul from Da’esh (ISIS). This is a great victory for the Christian’s of Mosul and Ninevah Plain who were persecuted and expelled from their homes whilst Da’esh were in power. However, returning home isn’t that simple for the hundreds of thousands of refugees who have fled Mosul over the years. Anglican Aid has committed funding through St George’s Anglican Bagdad to help rebuild homes, roads, schools and hospitals as well as provide emergency supplies to the hundreds of thousands of refugees trying to return to their war ravaged villages.
The Anglican Archdeacon of Cyprus and the Gulf, Canon Bill Schwarz, who oversees St George's Cathedral in Baghdad wrote recently in response to Anglican Aid's enquiry about the situation in Iraq. He stated "We all rejoice that recent developments on the ground in Iraq have progressively curtailed the influence of Da’esh (ISIS) and that with the recapture of Mosul there will no longer be a specific Da’esh presence in Iraq. It is disheartening that the cost of human life and suffering of even more displaced people has been a necessary by-product of this development. The future is uncertain in many ways, but there is hope. About six months ago, with successful ‘freeing’ of towns and villages that had been occupied by Da’esh, the Iraqi government began working on policies for re-settling the displaced people back to their homes. This is, of course a monumental undertaking in every sense of the word. Aside from repair to the collapsed infrastructure (lack of serviceable roads, electricity and water supply, homes, schools, hospitals and government civil service) the bigger problem is what to do with people living in the camps who do not trust their former neighbours and there do not have confidence to move back to their former homes. In the midst of this, the government is making clear proclamations about ceasing to fund and operate camps where the displaced people are living. So far there is only uncertainty about all of this, but people are not feeling very secure about their future whether they want to move back to their homes or not."
St George's Cathedral in Baghdad has a strong track record of providing assistance to displaced people in need. They have provided ongoing aid to Christians and others who fled IS in 2014. The images below show the desperate needs of these people and how St George's Baghdad is helping. You can read more about St George's Cathedral and the work of the Anglican Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf here.
Anglican Aid's Nazarene Appeal going to send over $20 000 000 ID (about $22 000 AU) to aid the rebuilding of Mosul and surrounding communities. More information about our projects supporting Syrian refugees can be found here.
Direct Deposit donations can be made to our bank account BSB 032078, Account Number 253493, Account Name: Anglican Aid. Please email the office with details of your donation at email@example.com so we can send a receipt. Cheques can be posted to – PO Box Q190, QVB Post Office, 1230, NSW. ABN 59 792 865 372
All donations are tax deductible.
Once emergency activities have ceased any excess funds will be used to assist long term needs of Iraqis in Iraq or other countries. Emergency funds are not retained for emergencies or activities elsewhere.
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- For Christians and others to be able to return to their villages safely
- For the recovery and relief efforts after the battle for Mosul
Anglican Aid is partnering with Arabic speaking churches and the following report is compiled from financial data provided as part of the reporting. Photograph are in an album to provide a visual report of life in Northern Iraq for those who have fled IS.
The desperate plight of people driven from their homes by extremists in Iraq has been one of the most heartbreaking stories of the past year. Centuries of family and church tradition have been left behind as refugees of all ages fled to comparative safety with nothing but their lives and few belongings.
Anglican Aid has responded to the overwhelming needs of these – mostly Christian people together with Yazidis and other minorities, by providing emergency assistance through the generosity of so many across Australia.
Anglican Aid has delivered nearly $300,000 in emergency aid, distributed amongst individuals for medical and living costs; through churches and internally displaced persons (IDP) camps and by purchasing and distributing items including clothes and bedding.
Medical grants assisted, including “help with disabled child”, “medical emergency”, mastectomy, cataract operation, deafness, blindness and an amputee. Total medical grants for individuals over the two months totalled $17,812 in late 2014.
Needs covered by living cost grants included help for families, money for rent and medical needs, clothes for winter, monthly relief and school costs.
Perhaps the most poignant line in a spreadsheet report is a grant for a man described as “the last Christian in Habania (caretaker)”.
Anglican Aid funds were also distributed via churches. For example, “the Syrian Orthodox Church, provided 2700 families with electrical wiring in villages, rice, oil, water, ice and food”; “Father Emmanuel of MarSharmot helped 1000 IDPs” with water, ice, bread, emergency payments, canned meat, eggs, rice and tea.
The Armenian Church provided internally displaced people with pyjamas and winter socks. The Carmelites provided for 1400 Yazidis in Douhok with tent materials, blankets, medical relief and food.
Al-Bishara Church provided assistance to four centres in Ankawa, a suburb of Erbil in Kurdistan. It provided medicine and milk formula, stationery and gifts for IDPs and their children from Mosul.
Anglican aid is continuing to provide support through St George’s Church in Baghdad which is receiving $30,000 each two months to assist those in need in northern Iraq. These funds continue until December 2015 (or longer should additional funds be received). Anglican Aid’s Iraq appeal will have distributed over $400,000 by the end of 2015.