Since the summer of 2014, when the forces of the terrorist militia, the so-called “Islamic State,” declared an Islamic caliphate in north-west Iraq and eastern Syria, spreading fear and horror with their bestial cruelty, some 3.3 million people have been forced to flee their homes within Iraq alone. A great many of these came from Mosul and its surrounding area.
After the US invasion of 2003, and the resulting instability, Mosul had already become something of a hell, especially for Christians, with abductions, bomb attacks and the targeted murder of individuals a regular occurrence. But in June 2014, the city was completely overrun by the forces of IS. Christians were given an ultimatum by the terrorists: to convert to Islam or to be killed. As a result, there was an exodus of all the Christian families from the city itself and its surrounding area in the plain of Niniveh. Many Muslims and those of other faiths also fled, most with little more than the clothing on their backs. Most fled to the region of Erbil in the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan.
The Catholic Church in Iraqi Kurdistan now is overwhelmed trying to help the thousands of refugees who have fled here, needing not only of a roof over their heads but also food, clothing, medical care and, in the longer term, schooling for their children.
Archbishop Bashar Matti Warda of Erbil turned to ACN, urgently seeking help for 12,000 of the most needy families who left everything behind them. He asked us to help them for half a year with a monthly food package containing sugar, rice, oil, noodles, tomato purée, canned fish, milk powder and other canned foods such as chicken and mushrooms, and dried beans. The families also receive a portion of fresh salad. The food packages are packed and distributed by well-organized volunteer helpers.
It costs almost $338 to provide one family with the basic necessities for six months. ACN has promised over $4 million in aid.
Will you help us fulfill our promise to keep providing aid to refugee families in Iraq?
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