The crisis situation of refugees in Iraq continues, on the one hand, with ongoing tales of hardship and deprivation and, on the other, with the love shown towards its needy Christians by many people in the world and not least in the UK. Donations to ICIN continue almost daily and we are grateful to all of you our supporters everywhere for your continued generosity. We are particularly grateful to those who responded so generously to the Appeal by St John’s in Notting Hill: £100,000 was collected and is being channelled through ICIN for the relief of Iraqi Christians who fled Mosul and the Nineveh plains.

The situation on the ground is such that there are almost some 8,970 refugee families of various Christian denominations being looked after in Ankawa, Kurdistan. The Chaldean and Syriac Catholic and Orthodox church leaders have formed an “Iraqi Christian Aid” committee (ICA) to coordinate the distributon of relief effort and organise direct help to the needy. In addition and with the winter months being imminent, plans are afoot for either the erection of “temporary” camps or finding homes for rental to house the refugees, many of whom are sleeping rough in churchyards, streets and public parks.

The Myrrh-Bearers Confraternity, the group of consecrated laywomen who used to look after the poor and marginalised in Qaraqosh, now continue to do so in Ainkawa.

In Jordan, some 450 refugees have found their way to Amman and while their basic needs are being looked after by Caritas International, they are still in need of financial support while contemplating their uncertain futures.

In order to alleviate the above-mentioned problems, ICIN is making an immediate transfer of US$40,000 for the relief effort in Ankawa and US$10,000 to the Myrrh-Bearers Confraternity. ICIN is also setting aside US$20,000 for the support of “temporary” camps or rents being organised for the homeless in Ankawa and US$10,000 for the refugees in Amman.

Finally, the leaders of the various churches have asked for our continued prayers and, most importantly, for our voices to be heard by our political leaders to use their international influence to bring about a fair, just and permament resolution to the problems of Christians and other minorities in Iraq and the region. Please do all that is in your power to voice your concerns to your member of Parliament and to the media to highlight the plight of our fellow persecuted brothers and sisters.