Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Tuesday 03 August |
Saint of the Day: St. Martin
home iconNews
line break icon

Winter is Knocking on the Door of Displaced Iraqis

Mustafa-Khayat-CC

Aleteia - published on 01/07/15 - updated on 06/08/17

International Community must provide aid, according to testimony before Congress

Washington/Aleteia (Aleteia.org/ar) – Millions of Iraqi refugees are caught in the middle of winter, and the international community must ease the way so that their basic needs can be met; according to the testimony before Congress last week.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, Kelly Clements acknowledged that, “The reality is that we are not covering all their necessities, and those necessities are enormous.”

Years of war, sectarian conflict and the recent attacks by ISIS have caused approximately five million Iraqis to be displaced. They are in desperate need of humanitarian aid, according to Clements’ testimony.   

With the coming of winter a series of new challenges have come along with it in this critical situation. In the Kurdish region in Northern Iraq the temperatures in winter range between three and 41 degrees fahrenheit. Millions of people are in need of sufficient shelter and fuel for heating. In addition to this, there are millions of Iraqis and Syrians who are living below the minimum standard of living and without protection from the elements. There are another two million who are in areas that are under ISIS control where it is currently impossible to reach them with aid.

Thomas Staal of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) said that at this time, “It is possible to meet their basic necessities; however, that is not sufficient.”

In the Kurdish region alone, there are approximately 450,000 refugees who have fled who are in need of winter clothing and shoes. It is abundantly clear that that United Nations has a “financing gap” that amounts to approximately 173 million dollars for winter support. This must be dealt with immediately, according to the testimony of Kristele Younes, Director of the U.N. International Rescue Committee for Humanitarian Affairs.

One overwhelming topic of the testimony has been that the new humanitarian needs appear on the surface to exceed the ability of the donor governments and international humanitarian organizations.  Meanwhile, other countries have provided assistance; however, their budgets have also become inflated.  For example, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have been covering the basic nutritional necessities of the Iraqis, but this program will only be carried out until the end of January.

Younes continued by stating that, “It is December and here we sit continuing to talk about winter and providing winter clothing and shoes. Frankly, this is embarrassing. We should be ashamed of ourselves.”

Aside from the subjects of supplies and the displacement of so many people stands another threat which is instability. Andrea Koppel of Mercy Corps described this problem as a “time bomb” because it is threating “the fragile stability of these communities.”  








Tags:
Christians in the Middle EastIslamist MilitantsSyria
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
Saint Mary of the Angels
Bret Thoman, OFS
All your sins will be forgiven if you go to a Franciscan church o...
2
Ignacio María Doñoro
Francisco Veneto
The military chaplain who pretended to be a criminal to rescue a ...
3
JEDZENIE
Theresa Civantos Barber
The one thing we all should do before this summer ends
4
CARLO ACUTIS
Violeta Tejera
Carlo Acutis’ first stained glass window in jeans and sneak...
5
HIDILYN DIAZ
Cerith Gardiner
Gold-winning Filipina Olympian shares her Miraculous Medal for th...
6
ANTENUCCI
Ary Waldir Ramos Diaz
1st Feast of Our Lady of Silence is August 1
7
SIMONE BILES
Cerith Gardiner
Simone Biles leaves the Olympics with an important lesson for her...
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.