Mercy Corps is mobilizing an expanded relief
effort in and around Iraq today as the onset of war creates the first wave
of refugee families in northern Iraq.
This ramped-up program will deliver Mercy Corps aid in northern Iraq and along the border with Iran. Relief supplies include crucial water and sanitation supplies, medical care and basic necessities such as blankets and cooking supplies -- enough for as many as 10,000 displaced people. The distributions are the first phase of Mercy Corps' $20 million plan to deliver food, water, shelter and medicine to some 700,000 refugees and internally displaced people over the next six months.
Mercy Corps and its global partner Peace Winds Japan are already delivering critical medical care, shelter and reconstruction services to more than 300,000 internally displaced people in northern Iraq. In response to reports from staff in the region, Mercy Corps decided to immediately expand these efforts.
Mercy Corps staff in the Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq report that the cities of Erbil and Dohuk have been largely evacuated. As many a 300 people an hour are reportedly heading to rural areas, away from potential missile strikes by Iraqi forces. Our staff in the region notice signs that some Iraqi families are beginning to seek refuge along the Jordan and Iran borders.
If families are not able to return home quickly, they will require immediate food, water, shelter, basic supplies and sanitation facilities to survive. Mercy Corps is accepting private contributions for its humanitarian efforts in Iraq. Examples of what donations can do include:
- $33 provides water cans and hygiene
kits for three refugee families for one month.
- $42 provides blankets for an Iraqi refugee
family of six.
- $83 provides lifesaving medicines for 50 Iraqi children cut off from health care.
Iraq Emergency Fund
PO Box 2669
Portland, OR 97208
Margaret Larson 425-746-7866, (cell)
Susan Laarman 503-331-1943, (cell) 503-341-3799