ASIA/IRAQ - Catholic Organizations: Winter-emergency for refugees from Mosul

Tuesday, 15 November 2016 wars   refugees   caritas  

Church Times

Mosul (Agenzia Fides) - The beginning of military operations to liberate Mosul from the jihadist Islamic State (Daesh) is causing the rapid increase in refugees fleeing Iraq's second city. There are those who believe that the wave of refugees fleeing from Mosul could reach the figure of one million people, and Catholic Charities organizations engaged in Iraq launch a "winter alarm". In northern Iraq, the winter temperatures drop below freezing, and already last year, many children died from hypothermia in the tents set up in refugee camps. "The arrival of winter may make the immigrants emergency unmanageable" refers Hani El Mahdi, head in Iraq of Catholic Relief Services (CRS).
The oil price decline – report local sources – have caused, indirectly, the lowering of the resources destined to humanitarian emergencies by the government of the autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan. Any sudden surge of refugee flow from Mosul would make it impossible at present to assure everyone the same precarious hospitality in tents. It would also put to the test - refer the volunteers - the assistance and reception facilities engaged in an effort to respond to emergencies caused by the war.
According to data provided by the United Nations, nearly 34,000 men, women and children have fled their homes since the offensive in Mosul, which started last October 17. Since 2014, violence in north-central Iraq has caused the devastation and massive displacement of more than 3 million Iraqis. More than 80 percent of the displaced are living outside of the organized camps, guests of families, of relatives and friends or in precarious and makeshift accommodation. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 15/11/2016)