Five years after the 2003 invasion of Iraq, 2.8 million people are displaced from their homes in search of safer locations within the country. “The humanitarian situation of some longer-term internally displaced people is actually worsening because many are unemployed and have exhausted their savings to cover rent and other expenses,” said Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) representative Daryl Byler.
In response to requests from three long-term partner organizations, MCC is launching a $2-million humanitarian crisis response. Shipments of 20,000 relief kits, 62,000 blankets, 62,000 school kits, 12,000 newborn kits, and 5,500 sewing kits will be distributed over a six-month period in 11 of the 18 governates in Iraq. Distribution of these resources is being organized and coordinated by REACH, an MCC partner organization based in northern Iraq, and by Iraqi Al-Amal and Iraqi Youth League, two long-term MCC partner organizations based in Baghdad.
MCC warehouses in Canada currently have an urgent need for relief kits and heavy blankets, according to MCC Material Resources Coordinator David Martin.
Relief kits contain soap, shampoo, toothpaste, bandages, laundry detergent, bath towels, and personal items. A $10 donation with each kit will help cover the costs of purchasing new buckets for the relief kits, transportation costs, and some of the distribution costs, said Martin.
Cash contributions are also being accepted for this project. More information is available at mcc.org/iraqrelief or by calling toll free: 1-888-622-6337.