“…Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.” (Leviticus 19:18)
As unrest and civil war tear through the Middle East, over one million people, many of them Christians in predominantly Muslim lands, have been displaced. Most of them have fled with nothing but the clothes on their backs, and winter is approaching.
Israeli humanitarian organization IsraAID, along with its international partners, have joined forces to offer some relief in this desperate situation.
With the Islamic State, or ISIS, sweeping through Syria and Iraq, more than 1.4 million Christian and Yazidi internally displaced persons and another 200,000 Syrian refugees have gathered in the Kurdish Region of Iraq, near Turkey, with another 1,000 to 1,500 arriving every day.
They are gathered in and around the refugee camps of Duhok and Erbil. Earlier this month, IsraAID began distributing blankets, mattresses, baby food and emergency supplies to over 1,000 families.
This effort comes in the wake of the organization’s similar work last summer in Jordan. In coordination with Jordanian relief organizations, IsraAID offered first aid and support to Syrian refugees arriving in Jordan at the time.
The current efforts only represent the beginning, as IsraAID plans to continue distributing supplied throughout the winter, despite tough weather conditions.
IsraAID was founded in 2001, as “a non-profit, non-governmental organization committed to providing life-saving disaster relief and long term support.” Over the past decade, the organization has sent relief teams to 22 countries during crises, distributed over 1,000 tons of relief and medical supplies, trained more than 5,000 local professionals and mobilized over 750 staff, volunteers, and professionals.
Today, it is Israel’s leading NGO in its field. The group’s mission is “to efficiently support and meet the changing needs of populations as they strive to move from crisis to reconstruction/rehabilitation, and eventually, to sustainable living.”