Iraqi government forces, assisted by Iran-backed Shia militias and Kurdish Peshmerga, are slowly wresting Mosul from Islamic State control. However, the seeds of a new conflict have been sown this week with Turkish jets bombing Kurdish fighters in Sinjar near the Iraqi-Syrian border. Amid this emerging conflict, we are continuing our work on the front line feeding thousands of displaced people.
Young people in northern Iraq: We provided 600 tracksuits for school children in Ankawa 2 in Erbil, a camp for internally displaced Christians (see above). We also provided 150 football kits to a group of young men in Harsham Camp, also in Erbil. At a processing camp near Mosul called Hassan Sham we provided 40 cradles for newborn babies. Providing cradles for newborns and growing babies is essential, to keep them off the ground which can be squalid. This project also provides local carpenters with work, who are able to build the cribs at a reasonable price.
Food relief in Jordan: Through our partnership with the Syrian Orthodox and other churches we fed a total of 780 Iraqi Christian families in Amman and Madaba. There are more families arriving every month but, with your support, we are feeding as many of them as we can. Sadly, they receive no assistance from the international community which, while acknowledging that Iraqi Christians are a persecuted minority, makes little provision for their care.
St George’s Church in Baghdad: Our free health clinic at the church is still operating perfectly, providing medical assistance and prescriptions for 80 – 100 patients every day. We are also providing 20 Christian families, all members of the congregation, with food relief. The congregation has dwindled but they remain a priority.
Lobbying the European Parliament: One of our trustees, Christopher Segar, who was Head of Mission in Iraq for the British Government in 2003 – 2004, is in Brussels this week meeting with MEPs to discuss the plight of Christians in the Middle East. We hope to bring you some positive news about this next week.
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