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10 June 2015

Don't forget Iraqis, one year on from Mosul, says Tearfund

Don't forget Iraqis, one year on from Mosul, says Tearfund

One year since Mosul fell, millions of Iraqis have been forgotten says Alliance member Tearfund. The charity is urging a response to the humanitarian crisis in Iraq where millions of Iraqis are displaced and in need of aid.

The appeal comes a year after ISIS stormed the headlines, after taking Mosul last June. The capture on Tuesday 10 June 2014, led to Christians, Yazidis and Muslims being forced to flee in the ensuing violence.

"With the world's attention focused on the militants and the response against them, we are at risk of forgetting the families who have lost everything they have in this crisis," says Kathleen Rutledge, Tearfund's Middle East response director.

"People who fled atrocities last summer are still stuck in a state of limbo, living in tents and unfinished buildings and desperately hoping for news of loved ones held captive. They've had to flee executions, sex slave markets and forced religious conversion. Many of them are educated people who had jobs and a decent standard of living, but now they have no way of providing for themselves and are forced to depend on outside support like ours."

The UN has reported that the humanitarian response is critically underfunded. Tearfund are providing basic assistance to thousands of families in need. They are asking supporters to continue to show their support and help responding to the Iraq crisis.

There are now 3 million homeless refugees and 8 million Iraqis in urgent need of aid.

Khalil from Sinjar, now lives in the Kurdish region of Iraq. He shared his story: "I studied accounting and was working with an oil company. We were working for many years to build one house. ISIS came and destroyed it in one minute. I cried when we left our home. We spend our days just sitting, not working. We have no income and cannot make plans for the future. The situation in Iraq is a bad one."

Tearfund is working in Iraq to provide food, basic living supplies, financial assistance, trauma care and education to both Iraqis and Syrians affected by conflict.They are helping displaced families in Iraq keep their children fed, clothed and safe, as well as serving women who have fled, in fear of being captured or sold in sex slave markets.

Rutledge added: "The people of this region urgently need both our prayers and financial support."

For more information about Tearfund's work in Iraq, visit: http://www.tearfund.org/en/latest/iraq/