Sovereign Military Hospitaller
Order of St John of Jerusalem of
Rhodes and of Malta


Iraq crisis: Assessment team on its way to Erbil

Iraq crisis: Assessment team on its way to Erbil

Malteser International prepares relief for persecuted minorities

A Malteser International assessment team arrives today in Erbil, north Iraq, in order to prepare relief efforts for persecuted minorities. Oliver Hochedez, Malteser International’s emergency relief expert, will lead the team on the ground to prepare the deployment of immediate aid for at least the next three months, in order to support displaced Christians and Yazidi communities that have fled from the militants of the self-proclaimed Islamic caliphate (IS). “This is a very important deployment, as the persecuted population is in great need and the current humanitarian situation is deplorable,” Hochedez explains. “Added to that is the extremely difficult security situation.”

For over a decade the Order of Malta’s international relief agency has supported a health care center in Karamlish, in the Nineveh region, in cooperation with its Iraqi partners and the local Chaldean Catholic Church. On Aug. 6, IS took control of the town, and the center was forced to suspend its activities. “The townspeople, who are mostly Christian, ran away to Erbil,” Hochedez tells. “We are checking whether the staff from the health center can provide medical assistance to the displaced families, and whether we can purchase the necessary drugs and medical supplies for the refugees.”