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Photo: Medair and Integral Alliance
Photo by Medair and Integral Alliance

World Renew and its local partners have received $1 million from the Canadian government's International Humanitarian Assistance Directorate to aid in the Christian Reformed Church agency's response in Iraq.

Since August 2014, World Renew has been working with local partners in Iraq to respond to the needs of hurting families who have fled horrific violence caused by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Through this additional support, World Renew will partner with the group Medair to provide immediate health care services to 24,000 people in the Sharya refugee camp in the Duhok governorate of the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

Sharya camp opened in November 2014 with a maximum capacity to host 24,000 internally displaced people. It is already full, and meeting the needs of this growing population has been difficult.

For example, the town medical clinic extended its hours after the camp opened, but still is unable to cover the urgently needed health services of people in the camp.

The crowded conditions and poor water and sanitation infrastructure of the camp has also put people at high risk for disease outbreaks such as measles, polio, hepatitis and cholera.

Because families are dependent on scarce rations, many children are at increased risk of malnutrition. People with chronic conditions are also experiencing an increase in complications since they are unable to access the health services and medications they need.

In response to these needs, World Renew and Medair have coordinated with the Directorate of Health of Duhok to provide health care in Sharya camp.

Together, they hope to ensure the continuous and extended provision of primary health care services including emergency care, routine vaccinations, and outpatient services.

Included in this outreach will be comprehensive services for women who have been subject to violence, as well as specific medical care for pregnant women and children.

“The needs of innocent people violently displaced from their homes as a result of ISIS are monumental. The sheer magnitude of the mass displacement creates numerous health issues in an emergency,” explained Ken Little, senior program manager for World Renew.

“There are desperate health and medical needs in the Sharya camp in particular.”

In addition to this response, World Renew is continuing to partner with an Iraqi organization called Hope, Peace and Joy to provide food packages, psychosocial support health care and rental assistance to displaced families. 

World Renew is also partnering with another group to lead psycho-spiritual healing conferences for women affected by this conflict.

To support this emergency response, please donate online.

Cheques marked “Iraq Conflict 2014” can also be sent to:

World Renew US
1700 28th St SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49508
Tel: 1-800-552-7972

World Renew Canada
3475 Mainway
P.O. Box 5070 STN LCD
Burlington, Ontario, L7R 3Y8
Tel: 1-800-730-3490