Tales of Tragedy from Iraq on Christmas Day
Figures from the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre report the number of displaced people resulting from conflict at 3,334,000. It is increasing day-by-day as the crisis deepens.
International NGO, Human Relief Foundation, provide aid within the Erbil Refugee Camps and are dealing with a situation where 13,000injured people have sought assistance over the last six weeks due to woefully insufficient medical facilities.
Stories relayed from the refugees themselves confirm the destruction of the city of Mosul, and that it is not yet fully liberated.
On Christmas Day 2016, when most people were beginning their festive celebrations, Human Relief Foundation (HRF) deployed nine members of staff to Erbil, Iraq, to deliver desperately needed aid to displaced Iraqi people in the form of food and blankets.
Bradford-based international aid organisation HRF has offices in Iraq, and is one of the very few NGO’s which is active in Mosul and allowed access to camps near by.
Funds raised by donors of the charity resulted in 2,000 food parcels and 1,500 blankets being distributed.
Deputy CEO Kassim Tokan who led the deployment described the deprivation he witnessed, stating that: “People were arriving daily from Mosul. They were hungry, had no possessions, and even the clothes on their back were not sufficient to provide any level of comfort or warmth in the harsh winter conditions."
During the deployment staff members visited families who were in life-threatening and desperate situations.
19-year-old Shahd and her family were having breakfast when a bomb hit their home. Shahd was severely burnt and lost sight in both her eyes and has been blind for 20 days.
Her younger sister Zahra lost a large part of her lower jaw after the explosion and also had shrapnel lodged in her body. It is thought that in order to reconstruct the sisters faces they may need to receive treatment out of Iraq.
HRF’s relief team is fundraising to cover the costs for their operations so they can have a second chance in life.
Mr Tokan: added: “As we left the hospital the family's parting words to me were ‘don’t forget us’ and we don’t intend to.”
Human Relief Foundation is appealing for support of these tragic cases, which are sadly just a small proportion of the suffering that is taking place in Iraq.