Whilst in Ankawa last week, we met with several of the people who have been helping us deliver our support on the ground.
Ammar, in particular is a man we want to thank. He is one of the locals who is employed by a local charity (Rise Foundation), and works hard to help deliver aid to those most in need – and to help source low cost items in the markets around the city of Erbil.
We thought it only fair to buy the man a drink to say thank you.
Ammar was vociferous in this thanks to the winter clothing we were able to provide – ‘it arrived just at the right time, and met a need that we were unable to fulfill locally’ But one ton of clothing was not without its issues – ‘there was so much!’ Our thanks goes to Ammar and his team for the distribution of the clothes to those most in need.
But there was caution in his voice. We asked what the situation was like, and how it was developing. ‘Its not good.’ For a smiley, easy going, optimistic young man, his view was not positive.
‘There are nearly two million people without homes and food and jobs. In the Kurdish region alone barely half of people who need it have been given shelter by international agencies. And it costs a lot of money, each of the 23 camps costs around $1million a day to keep running, so setting up all the camps we need is not going to happen quickly.’
He concluded ‘that is why the work we are doing, and you are supporting is so vital. We help those who are not necessarily in the main camps – the people falling between the gaps.’
When asked about the overall situation in Iraq one year on, he was even more pessimistic; ‘things are going to get worse before they get better.’