LWF Provides Emergency Assistance in Iraq
“Harrowing Stories of Targeting Minorities”
(LWI) - The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) together with partners in the ACT Alliance is providing humanitarian aid to the internally displaced people in Northern Iraq. Through the ACT Alliance emergency appeal, the international humanitarian and development network is providing around US$ 1 million for shelter, food, water, non-food items, hygiene kits, and carrying out protection initiatives particularly for women and children.
“We are horrified by the reports of human rights violations we receive from our partners in the field”, says Rev. Eberhard Hitzler, Director of the LWF Department for World Service (DWS). “LWF is committed to assist the people affected by the violent conflict with water, food and psycho-social services. We are very grateful for the funds received so far from member churches and partners to carry out our work in Iraq, and we ask you to continue supporting our efforts to stand with those in need of assistance.”
Over 1.5 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance in Iraq, as the Sunni Muslim militant group, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) continues its encroachment in the region. Since the group’s violent take-over of large swaths of land in northern and western Iraq, the country according to OCHA is now contending with one of the largest internal displacements in the world. In the past few days, ISIS has cut off water supplies from central pumping plants on the Tigris in Mosul to the Kurdish controlled areas of the Nineveh plain.
According to an assessment by the ACT Alliance the situation is set to worsen. “This is starting to become a runaway crisis, and the world must rise up quickly to save the lives of the people who have fallen victims to dangerously armed militant groups,” said Jonh Nduna, ACT General Secretary.
Together with its partners in the ACT Alliance, the LWF works to ensure clean, emergency water supplies for 12,500 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and their host communities, and to guarantee an additional two-months’ food security for 2,500 IDP families. The LWF is also seeking to offer psycho-social services to 5,000 vulnerable individuals, who have experienced psychological and physical trauma.
ACT Alliance members, including the LWF, which are on the ground providing humanitarian aid to affected populations, are calling for continued life-saving aid as the conflict intensifies.
Humanitarian Access is Critical
The alliance is also calling for human rights and international humanitarian law to be respected, and is urging governments and intergovernmental bodies to find a lasting solution to the crisis and to identify proactive actions to respond to early signs of conflicts.
“There are harrowing stories of the targeting of minorities,” said Nduna. “Humanitarian access is critical at this time. We cannot underestimate the need for protection of civilians especially women, children, the elderly, those living with disabilities, and minority populations”.