Iraq

International Aid preparing to help millions of Iraqi refugees

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SPRING LAKE, Mich., Jan. 15, 2003 - As United States military forces mobilize troops and equipment for a possible war with Iraq, International Aid is mobilizing to provide critical healthcare and related supplies to millions of Iraqis who are expected to become refugees.
In the event of war, it is expected that 6 million Iraqis will be forced to leave their homes and flee to refugee camps in surrounding nations including Jordan, Syria, Turkey and Iran. International Aid is preparing to send critical supplies to Jordan in anticipation of a sudden influx of refugees seeking safety, shelter and medical needs.

"While our country has been focused on a military response to the actions of the Iraqi government, our focus as a Christian relief agency is responding to the millions of Iraqi citizens who will be innocent victims of tragic events in their country," said Myles Fish, International Aid president. "While we pray there is no war, we have to be poised to care for refugee families."

As one of the world's leading faith-based agencies in providing healthcare and health-related needs, International Aid is preparing to ship medicines and a medical clinic, provide a water-filtering system and supplies including tents, blankets and food, and send a trained team to analyze the situation for future actions.

"Our recent experience in Afghanistan and Kosovo taught us that people who suffer most are often children and young mothers in refugee camps," Fish said. "Providing basic needs is a vital first step in rebuilding the region. But it's also a Christian response to a tragedy that we believe can be the foundation for longer-term benefits. We have an opportunity to demonstrate to people who are wary of the United States that we share a Christian concern and compassion for our neighbors in need throughout the world."

Based in Spring Lake, Mich., International Aid is a health-focused Christian relief and development organization that provides for both the physical and spiritual needs of people worldwide. With expertise in emergency relief and post-war rehabilitation, International Aid has responded to crises around the world, including hurricanes in Honduras, earthquakes in El Salvador, and the refugee crisis in Kosovo. Last year International Aid provided an estimated value of more than $68 million in missionary assistance, medical support and relief to people in more than 54 countries.

International Aid is accepting secure on-line credit card donations at www.internationalaid.org or pledges and donations through its 24-hour hot line, 1-800-251-2502. Checks can be mailed to:International Aid, 17011 W. Hickory, Spring Lake, MI 49456.

Reporting from International Aid Headquarters in Spring Lake, MI.

For more information on this press release or other media inquiries, please contact Mary Jean Vesper at (616) 846-7490.