In April 2013, a militant group known as “the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” (ISIS) grew out of al-Qaeda. It has since become one of the main jihadist groups fighting government forces in Syria and Iraq and has targeted minority communities – including Christians.

ISIS has been accused of massacring hundreds of people in areas under their control in northern Iraq and eastern Syria. The violence has displaced an estimated 1.2 million people in Iraq alone.

World Renew is responding in Iraq with local partner organizations and through Medair, one of the members of the Integral Alliance. 

The largest project is the provision of primary health care services to a refugee camp of close to 18,000 Yazidis in the village of Sharya, very close to the city of Dohuk, in northern Iraq.  It began in June 2015 and will run until the end of March 2016.

Between June 2015 and the end of March 2016 this project, implemented by Medair, accomplished the following:

  • Responded to a cholera outbreak in Iraq through surveillance, treatment, referral and community education within Sharya Camp.  

  • 930 emergency patient referrals from the Primary Health Care Centre (PHCC) to secondary care facilities in Duhok.

  • 1654 antenatal care (ANC) and 478 postnatal care (PNC) consultations took place and 30 referrals for routine hospital deliveries were facilitated. 1,175 family planning consultations were conducted.

  • The management of acute malnutrition was integrated into the PHCC services in August 2015 for the treatment of children aged 6-59 months.14 children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) and 98 children with moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) were treated in the program until the close of the project period. 

  • Two Community Health Officers oversaw 20 Community Health Workers (CHWs). The CHWs have undertaken 24,780 household visits within Sharya Camp. They also hosted 20 health education groups with 8 participants in each meeting every two weeks within the camp, to discuss health issues relevant to themselves and their community. The total number of participants throughout the course of the project was 324 individuals.

The second project initiative is a special project which provides spiritual and pyscho-social support to hundreds of women, most of whom have been displaced because of ISIS.  This innovative program, being led by a Canadian – Iraqi woman, Insaf Safou, is implementing another series of conferences for women in smaller villages during March 2016.

Please join World Renew in praying for an end to the escalating cycle of extreme violence against Christians and others that is occurring in Iraq.