Katie, a member of the War Child UK team has just sent us this message:
I’ve just returned from visiting our team in northern Iraq. The recent attacks in Paris make it an even more urgent time for the world to come together and it’s why I wanted to send this email to you today.
The sheer numbers of people affected by this conflict make it almost overwhelming.
3.2 million Iraqis have been driven from their homes under Isis’s regime. Three quarters of these are now taking refuge in northern Iraq, in freshly built camps that scatter the region.
What’s more, Iraq is also dealing with the fallout of the Syrian war, hosting 250,000 Syrian refugees.
The local community welcomes them unquestioningly, but the need for more funds to help support these people is evident.
Your committed support is already helping us to do some incredible work. Can I call on you to help more children fleeing conflict?
The newly arrived families at these camps are visibly traumatised. Many of them have been separated from their parents, daughters, sons, brothers, sisters and are waiting to hear news of their safety and return.
As winter approaches, the rain starts to fall turning the camp into marshland. We watched these little bodies struggle through the heavy mud to school, one about 4 years old wearing a War Child rucksack. I realised that there was a strong chance that his life as a refugee was the only one he’d ever known, most likely born in the camp, or certainly not long before.
War Child has been working in Iraq for over 10 years. Since January, we’ve been focussing our attention on the influx of people to the north region, where we’ve been providing psychological support and counselling for 2,000 particularly vulnerable children who have experienced the most horrific and unimaginable violence and brutality. But with many more children in the camps that we haven’t been able to reach, and thousands of others still fleeing their homes, the need for our work is greater than ever.
The war on children is showing no sign of ending and we need to ramp up our efforts to ensure they are safe and protected. Together, we can help protect the innocent victims of war.