Violence in Iraq becoming a runaway crisis, says ACT Alliance

14th August 2014

ChristianAid UK and Ireland:

PRESS RELEASE

Over 1.5 million people are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance in Iraq and the number is set to increase says international humanitarian and development network ACT Alliance, as the Islamic State continues its encroachment in the region.

Since the group’s violent take-over of large swaths of land in northern and western Iraq, the country according to OCHA 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 John Nduna, ACT General Secretary.

ACT Alliance members, which are on the ground providing humanitarian aid to affected populations, are calling for continued life-saving aid as the conflict intensifies.

Through the ACT Alliance appeal the alliance is 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 minorities,”  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 continuously 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.

Ends

Notes to Editor:

  1. ACT Alliance is a coalition of 146 churches and affiliated organisations working together in 140 countries to create positive and sustainable change in the lives of poor and marginalised people regardless of their religion, politics, gender, sexual orientation, race or nationality in keeping with the highest international codes and standards.
  2. Through its member organisations ACT Alliance mobilises more than 25,000 staff and around $1.5 billion for its work each year in the areas of humanitarian aid; development; and advocacy.
  3. ACT Alliance is a member of the International Council for Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), the Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response (SCHR) and the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP).
  4. For more information on the ACT Appeal click here
  5. For more information on this press release contact Gorden Simango at ACT Alliance at: gorden.simango@actalliance.org or +41 22 791 6319.
  6. For more information about the ACT humanitarian response please visit our member websites:  http://www.christianaid.org.uk/emergencies/current/iraq-crisis-appeal/index.aspxwww.lutheranworld.org, http://www.diakonie-katastrophenhilfe.de/hilfe-weltweit/uebersicht-aller-projekte/irak.html