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Baltimore Sun: CRS, Others Providing Relief to Iraqi and Syrian Refugees

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Several Baltimore-area humanitarian organizations, including Catholic Relief Services (CRS), are responding to the needs of Iraqis and Syrians who fled violence in their home countries. The Baltimore Sun describes the magnitude of the problem, and how CRS and others are providing important assistance:

The small concrete buildings that huddle in half-built villages across Kurdistan aren’t much. Single-story, with no doors or windows to cover the holes in the walls. But for religious minorities fleeing Islamic State fighters, the buildings were better than a refugee camp, so they crammed in, an entire family to a room.

And with the help of workers from Baltimore-based Catholic Relief Services, some 50,000 people now have relatively safe shelter, according to Hani El-Mahdi, the organization’s representative in Iraq.

“They were lucky to have arrangements of this type,” El-Mahdi said in an interview from the war-ravaged nation. “Those arrangements are more dignified than camps.”