Iraq Humanitarian Aid Appeal.

August 6, 2007


United Church of Christ/Church World Service/ACT Intl.

Assistance to War-Affected Iraqis – Iraq Humanitarian Aid Appeal

                                                    

Total Appeal Goal: $989,135 (UCC goal $100,000)

SITUATION: The escalating sectarian conflict in Iraq has created a crisis marked by lawlessness and extreme humanitarian distress. Large parts of the population have fled their homes to other regions in Iraq or have sought refuge outside the country. Two million Iraqis are internally displaced and more than two million have fled to neighboring countries, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). There are an estimated 1.4 million Iraqi refugees in Syria and about 750,000 in Jordan.

Within Iraq, the lack of security and fear of killings have affected Iraq’s social and economic life. In many places, the population is deprived of clean water and electricity. Often public schools do not operate, because teachers and students are prevented from moving freely on the streets. School enrollment has dropped sharply, and of particular concern, many girls cannot attend classes. People are threatened with death because of their affiliation to specific religions, including Iraq’s minority Christian communities.

 

Outside of Iraq, Iraqi refugees in both Syria and Jordan face dire conditions: surviving on dwindling resources and not sure when they will ever be able to return to Iraq. In Syria, Iraqi refugees benefit from a legal status allowing them to work and send their children to school.

 

In Jordan refugees are considered “visitors” with no right to working permits or social services, which leaves them with few resources as they fend for themselves. In both countries, the refugee crisis has added a huge demand on social and economic infrastructures, proving to be a burden to the host countries. Prices for rent and daily food have increased, while water resources have become scarce for all residents. Given these problems, the health and the lives of thousands of refugees are at risk, as is the Middle East region’s stability.

 

RESPONSE: The United Church of Christ, as members of Church World Service is responding to this growing emergency in two ways - one is supporting the efforts of fellow Action by Churches Together (ACT) International partners both inside and outside of Iraq; the other is by supporting groups in Iraq with whom CWS is partnering in efforts related to a) capacity building of Iraqi non-governmental organizations (NGOs);

b) support for Iraqi hospitals; and c) aid to vulnerable children.

 

The ACT component of this two-part appeal includes support for the following initiatives:

 

1) UCC/CWS partner International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is assisting selected communities in Iraq and Syria through its church-related network. Some 2,900 Iraqi families will receive food parcels and hygiene kits. Completion date: Oct 31, 2007.

 

The IOCC program is targeting highly vulnerable internally displaced or needy Iraqis as well as Iraqi refugees, including: the Governorate of Baghdad in Iraq (Karada, Al Qadisiyah, Mansour, Rasafa, Rasheed and Tisa Nissan) and Damascus (Jaramana, Sit Zeinab, Saydnaya, Barzeh & Kashkoul.)

 

Budget for the IOCC program is $200,000 and includes $149,100 for direct assistance, including the distribution of hygiene kits and food parcels.

 

2) UCC/CWS partner Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) is assisting with three different components: 1) to provide social and psychological assistance to three youth centers in Bagdad and Basrah; 2) to supply the district hospital in the Abu Al-Khasib near Basrah with a water filter system which will benefit about 200 000 people; 3) to provide shelters for about 300 persons in the Arab marsh land. Completion date: July 31, 2008.

 

The targeted NCA beneficiaries include about 70 girls and boys between 6 and 16 years of age, in a Baghdad youth center; and about 30 boys and girls between 6 and 14 years old, as well as 15 Marsh Arab children, at a Basra youth center. The target group for the water and sanitation project will be the population of the Abu Al-Khasib district and 30 surrounding villages that benefit from the services of the district hospital -- in total about 200,000 people. The hospital has 85 beds and serves 3000 patients per week, among which are emergency patients from seven health centers in the area. Some 300 persons will benefit from the UCC/CWS-supported NCA shelter program.

 

Budget for the NCA program is $390,000, most for direct assistance that includes, among other components, $129,000 for water and sanitation.

 

3) UCC/CWS partner Middle East Council of Churches (MECC) is assisting Iraqi families in Syria, Jordan and Iraq with food parcels, medicines and clothes. The MECC proposal also includes support to selected youth to receive computer training in Syria. Completion date: February 29, 2008.

 

The UCC/CWS-supported MECC response includes assisting needy families in Baghdad by providing cash grants and distributing food items to families who were forced to leave their homes in Baghdad, as well as providing supplies and medicines to the health centre of the Chaldean church in Baghdad. In Jordan, the MECC response includes delivering food parcels to 300 Iraqi families on a monthly basis, through the churches and the non formal schools and some social centers in Amman and Fehias regions; provide non-food items for children: educational supplies such as books, pens, crayon and pencils and winter coats, hats and gloves; provide cash assistance to Iraqi families to help them pay part of the rent, medicine or other urgent needs.

 

In Syria, the MECC response includes enabling at least 200 socio-economically disadvantaged Iraqi families - 100 in Damascus and 100 in Aleppo -- to receive one-time food boxes. As well, support will be provided to enable 100 youth (both genders) in Damascus and Aleppo to be trained in private vocational centers in order to increase their chances of becoming self-reliant, and to provide basic medical care to at least 100 persons (children and adults) in coordination with other entities working with Iraqi refugees.

 

Total budget for the MECC program is $227,030 and includes $62,180 for assistance to those still in Iraq; $84,870 for Iraqis living in Jordan; and $68,980 for those in Syria.

 

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UCC/CWS-bilateral projects:

 

1) Capacity Building of Iraqi NGOs.

 

CWS partner Italian Consortium of Solidarity (ICS) has been involved with intensive capacity building with six Iraqi NGOs since May 2005. ICS is continuing this work with additional training workshops for these six NGOs as well as expanding support to six new Iraqi NGOs.  Completion date:  February 29, 2008.

 

ICS, in consultation with the six NGOS, has identified a need for trainings in project monitoring, project evaluation and networking with other humanitarian actors.  These trainings will be done as the NGOs continue their various community-based projects including opening a computer center, equipping a school library, a household hygiene awareness campaign and several peace awareness/conflict mitigation initiatives.

 

A second component of this project is the identification of six additional Iraqi NGOs.  Each of the original NGOs will identify and mentor a new NGO. These new NGOs will be provided small grants and be assisted in implementing a community project.

 

CWS is seeking $50,000 to support this $135,000 project.

 

2) Emergency medical distributions to hospitals in conflict areas

 

A CWS partner (unnamed for security reasons) is supporting hospitals with medical consumables and medical equipment.  Hospitals in conflict areas experience routine shortages of medical supplies.  This CWS partner has been working in the Iraqi medical sector since 1997 and is well-positioned with its 25 local staff to identify and respond to these shortages.  CWS has partnered with this agency since 2003.  Completion

date:  October 31, 2007

 

This CWS partner will distribute kits of medical consumables and medical equipment based on ongoing needs assessment in the context of a volatile security situation.  It is estimated that 1,600 victims of conflict will benefit from the medical kits and 761 patients/day will benefit from the distributions of medical equipment.

 

Total budget for this two month intervention is $63,745.

 

3) Support to Vulnerable Children.

 

This CWS partner (unnamed for security reasons) is supporting children in institutions with food baskets, school kits and hygiene kits.  This partner has been running projects focused on improving the caring facilities for vulnerable children in Iraq since 1995. This material assistance is part of a larger program focused on moving children out of institutional living and into family settings.  CWS has partnered with this agency since 2003.  Completion date:  February 29, 2008

 

This project will assist a total of 582 children living in 21 institutions spread throughout 11 of Iraq's 15 governorates.  105 children will receive regular food baskets for a period of 6 months. 582 children will receive a one time distribution of locally purchased school and hygiene kits.

 

The budget is $43,860 and includes $23,490 for food, $8,730 for school kits and $11,640 for hygiene kits.

 

4) Material Resource Shipments.

 

CWS expects to send a large shipment -- three 40-foot containers of material resources, including CWS kits, blankets and Interchurch Medical Assistance (IMA) medicine boxes -- to regional partners including IOCC and MECC.

 

Budget for shipping:  $14,500

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