Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS) has made a plea for urgent support to help it care for refugees from Mosul, as the battle rages for control of the Northern Iraqi city.
Recent news reports from the region said Iraqi and Kurdish forces were closing in on the former Islamic State (ISIS) stronghold. When Mosul was taken by ISIS in June 2014, the terror group predominantly targeted Christians and Shia Muslims.
ALWS Community Action Manager Jonathan Krause says the LCA’s aid and resettlement agency has received reports which estimate up to 1.5 million people still in the city may be impacted. It is estimated 500,000 of those ‘in deadly danger’ will be children.
ALWS partner Lutheran World Federation (LWF) is already delivering aid to people who fled Mosul early, and are now living in Debaga Camp in Northern Iraq. Debaga was formerly part of the front line of ISIS territory, but is now a safe haven.
This week ALWS has committed $20,000 to support the next wave of refugees. ‘My prayer is we can greatly increase this response – please donate now’, Jonathan says in a call for support to members of the LCA. ‘I thank God every day for the kindness of people like you that allows us to work together to bring love to life through ALWS at crisis times like this. Your support will be precious – thank you!’
LWF hopes to help up to 50,000 people through this support. This includes 2000 traumatised girls and women, who will receive psychosocial support at Women Listening Centres. Safe drinking water, blankets, cooking pots, shelter kits and latrines with septic tanks are among the aid planned for 7700 families.
LWF Program Manager for Northern Iraq Ilana Gajdikova says the refugees will need warm clothes, hygiene kits and other relief. ‘We do not know when they will be able to return home, or what state they will find their home in’, Ilana says. ‘Even before the offensive to re-claim Mosul, there was fighting and bombing.’
The LWF team Ilana leads last week worked with a local partner Al-Masala to distribute hygiene kits to 12,000 people at Debaga Camp, now home to 40,000 refugees. Hygiene kits contain items such as soap, towels and toothpaste.
To donate to the ALWS response to the Mosul Emergency, visit their website and click on HELP NOW or phone 1300 763 407.