Shelter Now initiated distribution to families in northern Iraq

From Christmas to the summer, Yezidi refugee children in northern Iraq receive fresh fruit through the international Christian aid organization Shelter Now. More than 250 children regularly get oranges, apples, mandarins and bananas to eat during this time. Employees of the relief organization had discovered that the children of the Yazidi families are not properly supplied with vitamins.

The fresh fruit is bought at the main bazaar in Suleymaniya, explained the German Shelter Now director Udo Stolte. In and around this city, the Yezidi Kurds who fled from the terror militia IS four years ago live in unofficial small camps. The families pick up the temporarily stored fruit partly on foot, to more distant camps it is transported by a van. According to Stolte, a first distribution of fruit took place this week. In order to be able to continue the campaign into next summer, the relief organization needs around 20,000 euros in donations.

Shelter Now has been supporting around 100 Yezidi families who fled to the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan since 2015. First they received clothing, fuel and food for the winter, later also drinking water rations and water filter canisters. For some months living chickens and geese improve the nutrition of the people, the later sale of young animals is to bring in additional money. Already in the second year, the aid organization finances the transport of refugee children to school as well as learning materials. Within four years, Shelter Now has provided a total of over 400,000 euros for projects benefiting refugee Yids, Christians and Muslims in Kurdistan and Northern Syria.

According to Stolte, numerous Yazidi in northern Iraq who fled from the I.S. do not receive any help from the UN because they do not live in the large camps for fear of attacks by extremists. They could not yet return to their homes in the Sinjar mountains because of ongoing tensions between militias and security forces. For centuries, Yazidi have been discriminated against by parts of the population in their homeland as “unbelievers”.

Brunswick, December 19, 2018