Samaritan’s Purse recently distributed food at three different locations to 800 northern Iraqi families displaced by recent violence in northern and central areas of the country. Six hundred families, 5,400 individuals in total, were provided approximately 27,000 pounds of food supplies at one location, where nearly 4,000 Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes were also given out.
Jihadists from ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) and others have snatched control of numerous town and cities from government forces over the last few weeks, resulting in the displacement of more than 1.2 million people inside northern Iraq. Many have fled to locations within the Kurdish semi-autonomous region, the same area where Samaritan’s Purse continues to provide relief to refugees from the Syrian crisis.
The Samaritan’s Purse food distributions, each coordinated through local Christian partners, were done at different sites in this Kurdish area. The food items — which included rice, oil, black-eyed peas, white beans, lentils, tomato paste, tea, and sugar — will help hundreds of families who have sought refuge from the fighting. Future distributions are planned once each month for six months.
It was 45 degrees Celsius at the time of the largest distribution and the Samaritan’s Purse team provided cold water to everyone who came. The war-weary fathers and mothers, who’ve lost nearly everything they own, truly seemed defeated, the team reported by email, but were grateful to receive needed supplies for themselves and their children.
“I feel like I have been standing in lines to receive food my entire life. We must be cursed,” said one beneficiary.
“Thank you for caring,” said another.
“We just want to go home,” said another.
Country Director Matt Nowery noted that 20 or so men approached him about a job during the distribution. “They need work,” he said. “These are not lazy people looking for a free ride — rather they are capable, hard-working men desperately wanting to provide for their families.”
Please pray for northern Iraqis to experience the love and hope of Jesus in a tangible way through these distributions. Please also pray for peace in Iraq, Syria, and other areas of the Middle East.