Iraq: A Continuing Response to Violence and Displacement

Over 1.5 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance in Iraq and the number is set to increase as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS) continues its encroachment in the region, as reported by Week of Compassion's partner, ACT Alliance.

Since the violent take-over of large swaths of land in northern and western Iraq, the country is now contending with one of the largest internal displacements in the world.

"This is starting to become a runaway crisis, and the world must rise up quickly to save the lives of the people who have fallen victims to dangerously armed militant groups," said Jonh Nduna, ACT General Secretary.

Week of Compassion's support of ACT partners is providing humanitarian aid to affected populations forced from their homes, providing shelter, food, water, non-food items, hygiene kits, and carrying out protection initiatives particularly for women and children.

The alliance is also calling for human rights and international humanitarian law to be respected, and is urging governments and intergovernmental bodies to find a lasting solution to the crisis and to identify proactive actions to respond to early signs of conflicts. 

"There are harrowing stories of decimation of minority groups,"  said Nduna. "Humanitarian access is critical at this time to ensure that assistance reaches those who need it most, and to ensure those responding can continously assess the needs and respond accordingly."

"We cannot underestimate the need for protection of civilians especially women, children, the elderly, those living with disabilities, and minority populations," he continued. "Deactivation of any humanitarian response and corridors that bring humanitarian aid to displaced populations would only hurt the people who are already suffering."

ACT Alliance is currently involved in consultations with other international faith-based organisations in a bid to scale up global level humanitarian solidarity, advocacy and assistance to the affected population.

Children's Disaster Services Names Gulf Coast Coordinator

Week of Compassion is pleased to announce that Rev. Joy Haskin Rowe has joined Children's Disaster Services as the Gulf Coast Regional Coordinator.   

Joy lives in North Port, Florida and also has a part-time pastoral ministry position with the Central Christian Church in Bradenton, Florida.

Joy has a Master of Divinity degree from Christian Theological Seminary and is an ordained Disciples pastor. She has had experience in program planning and implementation, ecumenical and mission work, congregational ministry, children's ministry, and chaplaincy.

As result of a partnership between Children's Disaster Services, Brethren Disaster Ministries, the National Benevolent Association, DHM Children and Family Ministries, Disciples Volunteering, and Week of Compassion, Joy will be working with the Associate Director of Children's Disaster Services to expand work in the Gulf Coast states, particularly networking with other disaster response leadership, setting up volunteer training, calling CDS leadership, and supporting the creation of Rapid Response teams to be able to respond to disaster with more urgency and flexibility. Joy may be contacted by email at CDSgulfcoast@gmail.com

In the face of violence and in responding to ongoing post-disaster needs, our partners are there.  If you would like to put your Compassion into Action, please follow this link.

This Week's Responses:

Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance
California, Drought Relief
Gaza, Emergency Response
Nebraska, Emergency Assistance
Virginia, Refugee Resettlement