Iraq crisis: Assessment team on its way to Erbil
Malteser International prepares relief for persecuted minorities
Cologne. 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 extremist group Islamic State (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, Malteser International 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.”
Malteser International is in close contact with representatives of the Catholic Church in Kurdistan and Europe, and counts on the financial support of the German government for its relief efforts.
About Malteser International:
Malteser International is the humanitarian relief agency of the Sovereign Order of Malta. With over 100 projects annually in some 25 countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas, Malteser International has been standing by those affected by poverty, disease, conflict and disaster, helping them lead a healthy life with dignity – without distinction of religion, race or political persuasion. Christian values and the humanitarian principles build the foundation of its work.