Iraq crisis: Malteser International expands aid outreach
Cologne / Erbil, 11/09/2014
Number of displaced and refugees continues to rise
The number of displaced people and refugee camps in north Iraq continues to rise, according to the latest reports from the relief team of Malteser International, worldwide relief agency of the Sovereign Order of Malta. Thousands of civilians – predominantly Christians, Yazidi, Arabs and Syrian refugees – have fled to Kurdistan’s Zakho district, located on the Iraqi-Syrian border.
“The displaced families tell me that they are afraid of further attacks,” says Malteser International public health expert Dr. Marie Benner. “Many have already fled their homes three or four times. They never stay in the same place for long, and are always looking for safe shelter.”
Malteser International’s relief efforts, which started in the city of Erbil and neighboring areas, are now expanding to provide aid for refugees continuing to move towards other regions, Benner explains. “For that reason, it is essential to have a mobile team that can bring aid items and medicines to neglected areas,” she continues. In Zakho, the team distributed basic drugs such as antibiotics, iron supplements, wound dressings and pain relievers. “People with chronic diseases such as diabetes or high blood pressure also lack treatment,” she adds.
Malteser International is providing emergency medical care for 25,000 displaced persons in and around Erbil together with a local partner organisation. A second team with an ambulance will visit the 18 sites around Zakho currently housing the displaced. Additionally, the relief agency is working with the Chaldean Catholic church to open a permanent health centre in Ankawa, an Assyrian suburb of Erbil.
In the past weeks, Malteser International provided two refugee camps in Ankawa with medicines and medical supplies, wheelchairs and water dispensers and filters, as well as setting up a shipping container clinic for inpatient treatment.
Help the work of Malteser International by:
– donating via the Malteser International website
– or via bank transfer:
Account number: 20 20 270
IBAN: DE74 3706 0193 0002 0202 70
Pax Bank Cologne
Reference: “Iraq/Middle East”
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