Israeli NGO IsraAID is set to scale up its winter relief operation among Yazidi refugees who fled to Kurdish-controlled areas in northern Iraq in the face of last years’s ISIS onslaught.
IsraAID has been on the ground in northern Iraq for months. Over the past year, the ISIS conquests in Iraq and Syria have resulted in an estimated 2.1 million refugees, over one million of whom have sought shelter in the Kurdish Region of Iraq (KRI).
While the Kurds have done all they can to provide for and especially to defend these displaced persons, the enormity of the humanitarian crisis is beyond their resources.
Most of these refugees are living in tent encampments, where life during the freezing winter months is nearly unbearable. In the camp where IsraAID is active, some 18,000 Yazidis and Christians have been huddled together – men, women and small children – for no fewer than seven months.
IsraAID has already delivered thousands of winter items, including blankets and mattresses, but intends to do much more.
In the coming months, the Israeli NGO will expand its distribution efforts, as well as begin to provide education programs for the thousands of Yazidi and Christian children who for months have been without schooling or psychological treatment for the trauma they have endured.
PHOTO: Israeli aid workers in northern Iraq (from the IsraAID Facebook page)