Earlier this month, the Israeli relief organization, IsraAID provided Yazidi and Christian refugees with essential aid to help survive the winter, as the Internationally Displaced Persons (IDPs) flee the persecution of the Islamic State.
More than 90 percent of Iraq’s Christians are currently displaced, fleeing religious persecution, ethnic cleansing, and violence, according to the Greek Orthodox Bishop for Baghdad, Kuwait, and the surrounding areas, Ghattas Hazimt. To keep their faith and stay alive, many of these Christians have fled to refugee camps in Duhok, Erbil, and nearby regions.
Many of the IDPs receiving aid from IsraAID are Iraqis fleeing persecution by the Islamic State, or Kurds escaping persecution in northern Syria. More than 1,000 to 1,500 Kurdish refugees arrive to the camp in Duhok every day, crossing into Iraq from Turkey.
These refugees join the already 1.4 million IPDs and 200,000 refugees residing in the Kurdish region of Iraq.
“We feel that this type of program is very important, not only to the Jewish people, but to the Christian community and large as well as the Muslim community,” IsraAID director Sachar Zahav previously told The Jerusalem Post.
“What we’re trying to achieve is a partnership between religious actors, for example Christians and Muslims, to provide as much aid as possible to hundreds of thousands of new refugees who are fleeing IS.”
A video provided by IsraAid depicts volunteers arriving with a convoy of trucks containing relief supplies for the thousands in the camp, and also meeting with children and local refugees. As the Israeli team delivers the crucial supplies such as food, blankets and mattresses, the Christians line up to receive the life-saving aid.
The volunteer team distributes the aid amid extreme rain and a wind storm, a typical occurrence for the refugees, many of whom only have a makeshift tent to protect them from the extreme weather.
IsraAid says it plans to continue supplying the thousands of IDPs with essential relief throughout the winter season.
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