Iraq

Background information on Mennonite Central Committee in Iraq

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Background

Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is a relief, development, and service organization supported by Mennonite and Brethren in Christ churches in the USA and Canada. MCC seeks to show human compassion and be a channel of God's compassion by working among people suffering from poverty, conflict, oppression and natural disaster. MCC strives for peace, justice and dignity of all people.

MCC's involvement in Iraq goes back to early 1991 when it provided immediate relief assistance to people affected by war. MCC continued to provide humanitarian assistance through regional partners such as the Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA), the Middle East Council of Churches (MECC), and CARE.

In addition to our relief and development assistance, MCC has committed substantial effort to education and advocacy about Iraq and the human suffering caused by the international embargo. This work is carried out in our constituency of churches as well as in relationship to elected representatives in both the USA and Canada. MCC's offices at the United Nations, in Ottawa and in Washington DC play a very active role in its advocacy.

MCC Work in Iraq Today

While we maintain our advocacy efforts regarding the embargo, MCC's present advocacy work is also aimed at raising awareness about the potential disastrous effect on Iraqi citizens of a US-led military aggression, and at working to prevent such an attack. Our relief and humanitarian work continues, with a more immediate focus on contingency planning in the event of an emergency.

Ongoing projects:

  • Tomato Production Project (with ISRA and the Ministry of Agriculture) - through 14 greenhouses around Iraq, providing hybrid seeds to carefully selected farmers, thereby increasing productivity.

  • School Rehabilitation Project (with ISRA) - rehabilitating five schools in Qadisiyyeh governorate.

  • Protein Supplement Project (with ISRA) - providing needed protein foods to patients at the Rashad Psychiatric Hospital and two homes for the elderly (first phase ended mid-2002).

  • Canadian Foodgrains Bank Inputs (with ISRA) - providing lentils and chick peas to Iraqi institutions.
Contingency efforts:
  • Procurement (locally) of 3000 blankets and 200 tents.

  • Import of 30,000 blankets from North America.

  • Import of school kits (28,000) and relief buckets (16,000) from North America.

  • Import of vital medicines for children: more than $90,000 worth of medicines are being brought into Iraq; the All Our Children $1 million joint appeal seeks to further this effort.
MCC Iraq:

Country Representatives Iraq/Jordan: Deborah Fast, Menno Wiebe tel (962-6)463-2095 jmcc@mennonitecc.ca
Program Coordinator Iraq: Edward Miller imcc@mennonitecc.ca
MCC website: www.mcc.org
Baghdad Diaries by Edward Miller: http://www.mcc.org/areaserv/middleeast/iraq/diaries/index.html

MCC Advocacy Offices:

Washington: Daryl Byler tel (1-202) 544-6564
New York City: John Rempel tel (1-212) 223-4062
Ottawa: Bill Janzen tel (1-613) 238-7224

MCC Iraq partners:

Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA): Khalid Sudanee (Amman), Adel Bakr Rahmatallah (Baghdad)
Amman tel (962-6) 568-3371, Baghdad tel (964-1) 718-8007

CARE: Margaret Hassan (Baghdad), Alia Khalifeh (Amman)
Baghdad tel (964-1) 556-9786, Amman tel (962-6) 553-3702

Middle East Council of Churches (MECC): Edmond Adam (Amman)
Amman tel (962-6) 464-9240

=A9 2003 Mennonite Central Committee

MCC, 21 South 12th Street, PO Box 500 Akron, PA 17501 tel: +1 (717) 859-1151 or toll free (888) 563-4676
MCC Canada, 134 Plaza Drive, Winnipeg, MB, R3T 5K9 tel: +1 (204) 261-6381 or toll free (888) 622-6337