Iraq Emergency Response
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has taken control of large areas of northern Iraq, including several important cities and towns. Nearly a million people have fled ISIS-controlled areas and entered Erbil, Dohuk, and surrounding areas.
The Yazidi and Assyrian minorities communities have been especially hard hit by the conflict, and hundreds of families from these communities have taken shelter at their respective minority cultural centers. Cultural center staff are working with other minority cultural centers and with IRD to provide assistance. According to the centers’ staff, the Kurdish Government, UN agencies, and other organizations provided a one-time distribution of emergency relief.
However, because the needs are both urgent and ongoing, IRD is providing additional food items to the IDPs, including water, bread, and jam. IRD has a relationship with the minority cultural centers under its work for the Department of State’s Supporting Minorities in Iraq program but is providing this humanitarian assistance using its own funds.
An IRD field coordinator is working with volunteers from both minority groups to collect the bottled water and bread and deliver it to representatives from the cultural centers for distribution among the 1,100 people sheltering at the Yazidi cultural center and the 150 sheltering at the Assyrian cultural center.
To date 48,500 bottles of water, 41,800 pieces of bread, and 7,700 containers of jam have been distributed. IRD will continue distributing these food items every day for at least the next month.
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Read more about our programs in Iraq.