Balance Requested to the ACT Alliance: US$ 412,894
Geneva, 14 November 2008:
The population in Iraq has suffered for years as a consequence of the war in 2003 and the sanctions that were imposed after the Gulf war in 1991. The widespread insecurity due to the collapse of the regime of Saddam Hussein and the absence of adequate security forces forced large parts of the population to take refuge in other parts of Iraq and in neighboring countries, in Europe and North America. Up to 2,5 million internally displaced people (IDPs), according to UNHCR figures in January 2008, continued to be in need of food, water, housing, medical care and education for their children. The Iraqi Red Crescent Society estimates that 38 percent of IDPs are women and children. The number of people who left Iraq is estimated to be more than 2.5 million. Syria alone has an estimated 1.2 million Iraqi refugees. In 2007, as a consequence of the increase in troops, both Iraqi and US, fighting Al Qaida, the security situation had improved somewhat, before deteriorating again in 2008.
Against this background, it is still very important to provide humanitarian relief to both refugees and IDPs. ACT members involved in the appeal MEIQ71, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) and Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) plan to provide assistance to the most vulnerable people inside Iraq and to refugees in Syria. In addition, IOCC is working on additional proposals for refugees in both Jordan and Lebanon.
IOCC is proposing to assist selected communities in Iraq through its church-related network. Some 4,500 Iraqi families will receive food parcels and hygiene kits.
NCA is proposing to assist boys and girls in Al Qassim district, Babylon Governorate, with non-formal education, literacy programs and recreational activities, 7 schools in the District of Hashmiya, in the southern part of Babylon Governorate, with access to clean water (networks), safe sanitation facilities and sufficient storage capacity and poor families in the Marsh Arab Areas, Basrah Governorate with 25 shelters.
MECC proposes to assist 500 refugee families in Syria with hygiene items, 300 youth from both sexes and from different faith affiliations, aged between 18 and 25 in covering the fees of vocational training courses as well as to promote 400 Iraqi women in education.
IOCC / Jordan. The revision of the appeal takes into account the situation of refugees in Jordan, where an estimated 450-500,000 refugees live under conditions of political and economic insecurity. IOCC plans to provide art and drama therapy through implementing partners for 300 children of the age between 7 and 14 years and cultural performances for 1,000 family members that aim at mitigating the psychological effects of the situation. Also, IOCC will provide multiple vocational training in portable crafts for 300 youth and young adults, who are without work and training opportunities.
Funding has been very positive for the interventions in favour of the refugees in Syria and Jordan. These components are fully covered and it may be even possible to extend the coverage of the affected population. . By contrast, the targets have not been reached for the activities benefiting the population inside Iraq, which certainly reflects the concern of members that the security situation in Iraq may hamper transparent implantation and reporting. Both members operating within Iraq, NCA and IOCC are aware of these difficulties and make any effort to ensure transparent stewardship of funds.