MIDDLE EAST & NORTH AFRICA
Humanitarian Aid by ISHR in Northern Iraq
The atrocities committed by Islamist extremists continue in Iraq. Above all, the targeted mass murder of minorities and inhuman behaviour spread fear and terror. Thousands of unarmed Iraqi Yezidis, Christians and Shiites were massacred by the fighters of the “Islamic State”, their wives and daughters were sold as slaves to the IS, where they had to and still have to experience inhumanities.
Hundreds of thousands finally fled to the Kurd-held mountain regions of northern Iraq to save their lives and escape terror. However, despite all international aid, this mass flight exceeds the capacity of the local authorities. Even the largest aid institutions are overwhelmed by the situation in the camps, as there are numerous problems and shortcomings.
In Kurdish Northern Iraq there are currently 20 refugee camps for 450,000 Yazidi and smaller camps for about 50,000 Christians around the megacity Dohuk. But many more refugees have not been able to find shelter there so far and continue to live in the most difficult conditions under tarpaulins, in shell constructions, under bridges and even on cemeteries.
The ISHR team tries to help as much as it can in refugee camps. Through donations and partnerships with local doctors, the medical emergency and the situation for sick and disabled people in particular should be improved. In doing so, ISHR also works locally with women who got rescued after they had been abducted by the IS.
Help for disabled, injured and sick People
People with disabilities, war wounded and sick people need special help – but also their families. The ISHR supports them with orthopaedic aids, crutches, toilet chairs and above all wheelchairs, of which the ISHR has now been able to bring several hundred to Kurdish Northern Iraq.
Help for Orphans
Despite the enormous number of deaths, the vast majority of children have surviving relatives who can take care of them. However, a few children are orphans who have lost all their family members. Volunteers of the ISHR help with their care and support.
Help for Pupils and Students
The refugee children can sometimes go to regular local schools in shifts. But often the distances are too long. Improvised tent schools, in which refugees, who are themselves teachers, work and teach on a voluntary basis, are a remedy. The ISHR not only provides the pupils with writing utensils, pens and other school supplies, but also shoes and clothing if possible. The ISHR also helps refugee students in universities in Kurdish northern Iraq, so that they can complete their studies there.
Sewing Machines and Sewing Workshop for Refugees
The ISHR has already brought sewing machines on several aid transports to Kurdish Northern Iraq to give the refugees the opportunity to repair clothes, bedding and other textiles themselves. Because of the great need, the ISHR has decided to set up a small sewing workshop in a refugee camp near the northern Iraqi megacity of Dohuk. Here, under the guidance of a tailor, women will learn to sew traditional white clothes and school uniforms and will be able to accept orders.
Help for liberated people of the Islamic State
Many fugitives were also prisoners of the IS – they have experienced the worst physical and psychological violence and need urgent assistance. Especially women are treated and sold as sex slaves in a degrading way. After these cruelties, the refugee camps are often their only place of refuge. Through employment, various courses and mental support, the ISHR tries to bring them back to a more normal life.
For medical care on site, the ISHR works with a team of doctors and specialists who care for the sick, make diagnoses and prescribe medicine. In this way, those affected are also accompanied and supported during necessary operations.
Lack of hygiene products often results in dental problems. Therefore, the ISHR tries to offer regular dental treatment in the refugee camps and to help immediately with problems.