Iraq + 1 more

Iraq relief initiatives update 19 Mar 2003

In the face of imminent war, Jordanian Christians working in tandem with FHI are headed for the border with Iraq, to help those fleeing possible hostilities.
The current plan calls for aiding those escaping to Jordan who lived and worked in Iraq, but who are actually citizens from other countries. These people are called third-country nationals (TCNs).

Because the Jordanian government will not allow either TCNs or refugees with Iraqi citizenship to move freely through Jordan, officials have established two camps at the border -- one to accept Iraqi citizens and the other to help TCNs on their journey home. These camps, located approximately 200 miles from Amman, are in the middle of the desert and subject to very harsh conditions.

FHI's local partner agency is the Jordanian Evangelical Committee for Relief and Development (JECRaD), a body of representatives from Christian churches and para-church organisations within Jordan. Other international NGOs may be partnering with FHI as well.

The Jordanian Red Crescent Society, in co-operation with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), will manage the TCN camp. FHI and JECRaD will provide three nutritious meals per day to all TCN camp residents until they are able to leave again, with IOM's help.

FHI is also sending an experienced relief manager to help the Jordanian workers plan and implement the food distributions. FHI previously sent staff to help JECRaD assess the situation and develop the proposal for the work in the TCN camp.

Most TCNs are expected to be Egyptian nationals; other countries represented may be Sudan, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka and India. IOM estimates that stays for the camp residents should range from two days to two weeks.