Iraq + 2 more

Iraq refugees - aid and action

Millions of people uprooted by the Iraq war are running for their lives: two million Iraqis are displaced within their own country and more than 1.5 million have fled to Syria, Jordan and neighboring countries. Early last year the U.S. government agreed to resettle 7,000 Iraqi refugees by February 2008, giving preference to those at greatest risk of violence. Today, only 2,000 Iraq refugees have entered the United States, with nearly 12,000 more awaiting approval. Many thousands are being left vulnerable and destitute - and you can help them.

CRWRC and the CRC Office of Social Justice, joining with conference sponsor Church World Service, encourage you to participate in Iraqi Refugee Action Days in Washington, D.C., on April 14-16, 2008. The event includes three days of education and advocacy in humanitarian assistance and resettlement for Iraqis fleeing violence, asking Congress to respond to the massive humanitarian crisis they face as refugees and internally displaced persons.

You'll have the opportunity to meet other concerned Americans and learn from experts, government officials, aid organizations and Iraqi refugees about:

- strengthening humanitarian assistance to the region

- improving U.S. admissions and resettlement of especially vulnerable refugees from Iraq

- and increasing support for reconciliation, recovery and community development in Iraq

Urge your leaders to take action. You can make a difference.

CRWRC has been responding to immediate, essential needs of Iraq war refugees in Syria and Jordan since 2004.

CRWRC's relief assistance provided heaters and blankets to refugees in Jordan and food aid to 1,000 additional individuals this winter. In Syria, CRWRC is seeking to meet the emotional needs of refugees traumatized by violence and loss who are in need of comfort and hope. Working with the Evangelical Christian Alliance in Syria, CRWRC is reaching out to Christian and Muslims with counseling, emergency financial assistance, English language classes, medical assistance, school fees, and infant necessity packs. In all, CRWRC will provide nearly $230,000 in emergency aid in Damascus and Aleppo, Syria, in 2008.

For more information or to register for Iraqi Refugee Action Days, go to www.IraqActionDays.org or email Jen Smyers at jsmyers@churchworldservice.org.

For more information about CRWRC's International Relief programs in Iraq, go to www.crwrc.org.

CRWRC is a member of InterAction (www.interaction.org).